Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies Deploy FTTH

An independent telco leverages technology to offer next-generation services.

Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies (OTTC), the largest independently owned telephone company in New York, has been in the business of connecting people for nearly 100 years. A family-owned operation now in its fifth generation, OTTC has lived firsthand the transformation in telecommunications through changes in technologies, its network infrastructure, the services it offers and the experiences its customers expect.

At the helm of OTTC today is president and CEO Paul H. Griswold, whose great-grandfather Hovey Griswold founded the Ontario Telephone Company in 1920. Trumansburg is nestled in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Working alongside Paul are his children, Ashley and Brenden, both of whom have supported the family business in a variety of roles since high school, just as their dad did before them.

Committed to their customers and to the success of OTTC, the Griswolds operate their business today with the same focus the generations before them had: Seize the opportunities that come with changing times, and continuously deliver state-of-the-art services to attract and retain subscribers.

“State of the art” is a moving target, and OTTC has embraced the challenge and the opportunities it presents. Paul Griswold has said, “We can’t tell the future, but we will be ready for it.” Being ready for the future means staying ahead of the demand for reliable, high-bandwidth services and applications, so in 2018, OTTC set out to extend the reach of optical fiber in its networks, beginning the process of installing fiber to the 11,000 homes and businesses it serves.

Some buildings on Main Street in Trumansburg appear much as they did during the late 19th century.
 
 

A Solution to Enable Fast Deployment

Traditionally, expanding fiber-based broadband access involved fusion splicing optical fibers together in the field – a process that is time consuming, requires skilled labor and is highly susceptible to delays from inclement weather, labor and material availability, and human error. But with continuous innovation at the very heart of OTTC’s business, the Griswolds looked to technology and manufacturing advancements to deliver faster results for their subscribers (and for their bottom line).

For the outdoor portion of their network, they chose Corning’s FlexNAP system, with hardened, weatherproof connectors that take the place of field splicing in an installation process that’s similar to plugging an electrical cord into an outlet, so fast and easy that it cuts labor time by as much as five times compared with traditional fiber optic deployment methods. Even better, this plug-and-play solution uses cable lengths preconnectorized in Corning’s pristine manufacturing facilities, giving OTTC the assurance that comes with factory installation and testing.

Every network transformation outside requires a corresponding change in the central office – the brick-and-mortar facility where business and residential subscribers’ lines connect to electronics. Sometimes referred to as the “core of the network,” central offices house the technologies that drive services and applications. In OTTC’s case, there are six central offices, each requiring corresponding connections for the new fiber installations outside.

For their central offices, the Griswold family selected the Corning Centrix system because it delivers technician-friendly usability with industry-leading density – a critical consideration in the highly valuable real estate that is a central office. Plus, with the Centrix system, OTTC can take a pay-as-you-grow approach, buying central office connections only as individual subscribers sign up for service.

“Our belief and trust in Corning’s products have helped to ease our minds about giving OTTC customers the ultimate experience,” says Paul Griswold. “Corning products are proven to work, and the people we work with make our experience even better.”

The Impact

Using the FlexNAP system allows OTTC to turn up customers at an impressive rate, enabling the first installation in just under three weeks. Even better, OTTC is now able to use Corning’s innovations to deliver exceptional customer experiences, including same-day installations and the assurance of reliable, fiber-based connections.

This lightning-fast installation didn’t just enable the company to turn up subscribers fast; OTTC estimates that the FlexNAP system has saved its business more than $180,000 per service area in materials and labor, as compared with traditional construction methods.

“The FlexNAP system increases our agility in a competitive field. We are able to plan our builds in a methodical and organized manner, yet we have flexibility to react to unique situations that would require us to open a service area within days instead of months. We surprised a lot of people when we had our first customer lit in three weeks. We just recently celebrated our 100th install in 91 days,” says Brenden Griswold, the operations coordinator. “From a project management point of view, working with the Centrix and FlexNAP systems is a dream for scheduling and coordination. We are no longer dependent on splicing contractors once the fiber goes up.”

Deploying fiber locally to the people and businesses OTTC serves in upstate New York is doing more than preparing networks to deliver next-gen services: OTTC’s current leadership is leveraging technology so future generations of the Griswold family can continue delivering state-of-the-art services and applications to future generations of subscribers.

“The ability for us to get our fiber network up and running quickly and efficiently is what drove us to work with Corning,” says Paul Griswold. “Reliable products that work seamlessly together allow us to focus on the bigger picture.”

 

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