Fibrant and Calix Partner to Make Salisbury, N.C., America’s First 10 Gigabit City

  • Calix
  • Fibrant
SALISBURY, NC — Salisbury is now America’s first 10 gigabit city with 10 Gbps available to every premises in the city through the municipally-owned Fibrant. The first 10 Gbps service is being offered at Catawba College, a private academic institution based in Salisbury, powered by the Calix E5-520 Ethernet Service Access Node (ESAN).

After five years of building out its fiber network and launching gigabit services last year, Fibrant is now ready to offer the highest city-wide speeds available in any U.S. community by leveraging Calix systems. The Fibrant network now supports up to 10 Gbps services throughout Salisbury via point-to-point Ethernet technology today, with a transition to next generation passive optical network (PON) technology as it becomes available in 2016. These innovative technologies are the new vehicles through which to deliver a multi-gigabit broadband experience to all Salisbury citizens.

“Broadband services are essential to our daily operations and the quality of the educational experience our students receive,” said Joanna L. Jasper, chief information officer at Catawba College. “By moving to Fibrant’s 10 Gbps speeds, the college is in a better position to differentiate itself. We can bring world-class broadband services to our campus community to support the next generation of educational applications.”

Catawba College Receives First 10 Gbps Services
Catawba College’s Hoke Hall is the first location to receive 10 Gbps services with infrastructure improvements planned in other campus buildings including the Cannon Student Center and Ralph W. Ketner Hall. Additionally, Catawba is designing a strategic blueprint for turning computer labs into Digital Media Creation and Collaboration labs, as well as adding high-speed video conferencing in a number of facilities throughout the campus.

In light of the recent partnership, Catawba sees this as an opportunity for its students, faculty, and the community at large. “The future is all about rich immersive digital media and being able to communicate and collaborate with others in real-time regardless of where people are in time and space. It is exciting that a small college like Catawba can now experiment with high-speed technology we believed to be years away. To put the speed change in perspective, having 10 Gbps gives us the potential to be 10 times faster on campus,” said Jasper.

Upgrading City from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps
Fibrant rolled out 1 Gbps services using the Calix E7-2 Ethernet Services Access Platform (ESAP) last year, but with consumer bandwidth consumption doubling every two years, Salisbury businesses and residents will require increasingly higher broadband speeds in order to have the highest quality broadband experience. Fibrant plans to complement the initial point-to-point 10 Gbps technology with next generation PON technologies (XGS-PON and NG-PON2) integrated into Calix E-Series solutions to deliver a multi-gigabit subscriber experience to residents and businesses alike. With a variety of 10 Gbps-capable technologies at its disposal, Fibrant will be in a position to enable cloud-based services that can keep up with projected subscriber bandwidth growth over the next decade.

“Salisbury has been at the forefront of broadband services and speeds for years now, but today, we are taking the next step to set ourselves apart from other cities with our citywide 10 Gbps service,” said Kent Winrich, director of broadband infrastructure for Fibrant. “As America’s first 10 gig city, our community has an edge in economic development. Fibrant is helping our existing businesses grow and attracting new companies to Salisbury.”

Fibrant and Calix are bringing 10 Gbps technology to an array of applications as the technology matures. Starting with demanding enterprise grade applications, such as Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 2.0 Carrier Ethernet services utilized by data centers, medical, and educational institutions, Fibrant will expand 10 Gbps services to small to medium businesses and residences, leveraging Calix innovations in XGS-PON and NG-PON2.

“As the global leader in advanced gigabit services deployments, we support hundreds of service providers reaching thousands of communities in their gigabit service delivery efforts, but Fibrant is doing something special in Salisbury,” said John Colvin, senior vice president of North American sales at Calix. “In making the leap to multi-gigabit services for key anchor institutions and businesses, Fibrant has set a new bar for communities across America. As next generation PON technologies come to market in 2016, we are excited to see how smaller businesses, MDU (multiple dwelling unit) owners, and even single-family residences take advantage of these impressive speeds and enjoy the next wave of broadband innovation.”

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