Ralls County Electric finds its FTTH pulse

With its $19 million of broadband stimulus money in hand, Missouri-based Ralls County Electric Cooperative and partner Pulse broadband are getting down to the business of building an open access Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network that looks and smells a lot like a typical cable company's Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) architecture.

Touted as an example of how other electric cooperatives could build FTTH broadband networks, Ralls is using technology that was created by who else but the two men that pioneered today's HFC cable architecture: former Time Warner Cable technologists Dave Pangrac and James Chiddix.

The FTTH technology was developed by Pangrac's consulting outfit that was bought by Pulse Broadband last summer, leverages a cable-like distributed architecture with no more than four fibers versus a typical Passive Optical Network (PON) deployment that could use hundreds of fibers. Pangrac said in an interview with LightReading that its FTTH technology "really is a low-level approach to how you make this cost-effective."

Pulse's technology appears to be already having an impact. In addition to being deployed by various broadband providers since 2006 through a technology license arrangement with CommScope, Pulse is not only talking with other service providers that want to use the open access network, but is fielding calls from other electric cooperatives that want to use the FTTH technology.

For more:
- LightReading has this article