A Video Primer on Fiber Backhaul


header_logoWe’ve spilled a lot of digital ink on the need for backhaul for next-generation (and even current generation) wireless networks, so while at the FTTH show in Houston, I chatted with Geoff Burke, director of marketing for Calix, a provider of optical equipment for carriers, about the mobile backhaul opportunity for both the company and its customers. CenturyLink (s CTL), a rural telecommunications provider, yesterday announced that it would deploy Calix equipment in order to offer fiber connectivity for its cell towers. In the video below, Burke talks about how rural carriers can take advantage of the need for backhaul and explains how Ethernet over fiber compares with alternative technologies such as Ethernet over copper. There are doubters, of course, those that allege fiber is still too expensive for cell towers, and that cell towers don’t need the full capabilities of a fiber connection, but I believe the demand for mobile broadband will continue to grow, and so I’m putting my money on fiber.



Brett Glass, the Special Acess lines, are local loop copper (Regular phone lines).
If a CLEC is digging FIber to the towers, then they can charge and provide fiber to whoever they want.
To give you an idea of the difference in cost,you’d spend around 100 bucks a meg for fiber circut in my area, vs. 400 for a 1.5meg T1 run over special access lines.

The ILEC’s and CLECS in an area have field the paperwork with the local cities and counties to be able to dig thru people’s yards. What this rural provider is doing is using their existing rights to dig, to run Fiber to SPRINT, and T-mobile, to The tower sites.

What he’s talking about doing is having passive splices, on existing fiber rings so they get drop some real bandwidth to towers rather than use the crappy existing copper and running slow T1’s.

Brett Glass

Fiber is nothing but wireless… inside a very expensive tube that doesn’t move.

Brett Glass

Fiber to the tower is a nice idea. But will it be affordable, given the outrageous prices demanded by the ILECs for “special access” lines? It’s not clear that it will be.


I am betting of Fiber too. How about getting fiber to our homes, apartments, etc, over the last mile before you worry about hooking up cell towers.

As to costs, once the fiber is in, the cost is fixed. Fiber is even lower to maintain, especially in states where lightning strikes are frequent.

Where’s the Fiber? Give me fiber or give me death!

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