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raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1

Fibre / GPON forums

Does anyone know of some forums where small isp's discuss fiber networking like we discuss wisp networking?

Lets assume i have been given access to all the utility poles in a small town of 150 houses and i want to spend a year in forums researching like i did before i started with the wisp stuff.

Someone on this wisp forum was using Sun Telecom equipment which i like the look of their GPON stuff and so am planning on using that, but i want to start reading up on other stuff in forums before i buy anything.

Also keen to find out how i could run a subscription pay-tv service over the top - with control of what channels each subscriber has but need to learn more about how this works also. Sun telecom have a solution but it doesnt tell me about its settop boxes and cablecards etc. So if i can read in forums etc, i may decide to go with another manufacturer.

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:3
I haven't found any good "grassroots" fiber forums. Everything is pretty much made for the telcos, so most manufacturers don't even offer much info that is very helpful for designing a network. I've been doing a ton of research after prariesky started his threads on fiber, and have learned a lot. I feel I'm just about ready to start buying some test equipment for my aerial trial area, but it is a lot of work tracking down the information. At least one other WISP on this forum is in the same position I am for an underground build the are planning.

Due to customer bandwidth demands and the issues we face with wireless (interference, penetration, limited throughput, etc) it seems like a lot of us are WISP's in the same position. It looks like there is even a whole topic about WISP's exploring fiber at the WispAmerica show this year (wish I could go).

As some of us grow bigger and have recouped our initial investment on our wireless network with a cash flow to support upgrading that network which we have outgrown, it makes perfect sense to start investing in a 20+ year technology, rather than one that needs to be upgraded and replaced every 5 years or so.

Maybe we should be contacting one of the forum moderators to see if we can create a fiber forum which isn't just people talking about their FIOS install or wondering when Google will be expanding to their town. For convenience (and since many of us look like we will be turning into hybrid Wireless/Fiber ISP's, it sure would be nice to keep it with the WISP forum, maybe another tab across the top like the "wireless users" link. It seems like this forum (while still based around wireless technologies) could be very useful if a new area were created around the people in the forum, rather than solely being focused on the technology itself.

Joe

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:3
reply to raytaylor
said by raytaylor:

Also keen to find out how i could run a subscription pay-tv service over the top

I forgot about the tv service question.... From my research, I think the best advise I can give for how to do this is.... don't.

It can certainly be possible, but with hardware and channel licensing costs, I don't really see anyway to do a cable tv service over the top in a way reduces the ROI for deploying fiber unless you can get a very significant percentage of your customers to sign up for the service. It is very hard to compete if there is existing cable tv, and satellite is often even cheaper than that.

I plan to get the fiber going, and once it is covering a large enough area, I will re-visit it and see how many customers would actually be willing to sign up. I also plan on contacting one of the other cable tv providers to see if they would like to lease my fiber to provide their own service over, rather than having to deal with the tv stuff at all.

For a small two-person WISP, it was just too much to deal with right now. The physical fiber part is overwhelming enough, so I'm focusing on one step at a time.


Inssomniak
The Glitch
Premium
join:2005-04-06
Cayuga, ON
kudos:2
reply to raytaylor
Here in Canada it's still to costly. There is too much red tape, engineering, insurance, pole rental from hydro or incumbents. Etc.

It's a million dollars to just think about it.
--
OptionsDSL Wireless Internet
»www.optionsdsl.ca

prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
Just ask away here. I know it's entitled wisp, but i think we're all in the same situation in terms of size of companies and that the W is less important than the ISP portion. I also think being a small provider allows everyone to examine what others are doing.... I don't want to check multiple forums and this is a very unique and bright group of people.

Personally, I had not heard one complaint about my fiber thread not being in the correct forum. and the "fiber optic" forum is pretty dead. It's either something very specific, which otdr shoudl i buy, or some guy on a tangent, I want to start a FTTH company covering 3 counties.....

Joe, what do you need for test equipment? I'll email you.....

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:3

1 recommendation

I personally don't see any problem with posting fiber related stuff here either as long as the mods don't mind it being slightly off the forum topic. I mean, we're all still primarily WISP's augmenting our networks with fiber, so a lot of the technologies compliment each other. Only problem I can see is if so many of us start doing fiber and those who are strictly wireless start having a problem weeding through what's relevant.

Shoot me an email... I'm still putting my list together... Been pretty busy lately so I haven't had a lot of time to make progress on my fiber planning, but I'm getting closer. I think I might have sent you an email a few weeks ago while you were on vacation....

raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1
reply to Inssomniak
said by Inssomniak:

Here in Canada it's still to costly. There is too much red tape, engineering, insurance, pole rental from hydro or incumbents. Etc.

It's a million dollars to just think about it.

It would be here too except i am going to be working with a power company who will give me access to their poles - and i will be doing everything aerial, then coming back later with a ditch witch and possibly rent a directional drilling team for a couple of days to go under the driveways of the remaining houses or those that arent in an aerial street.

The second part will require city council approval which is where it will probably get costly - but i should have some recurring revenue from the aerial drops to cover that part.

raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1
reply to jcremin
said by jcremin:

said by raytaylor:

Also keen to find out how i could run a subscription pay-tv service over the top

I forgot about the tv service question.... From my research, I think the best advise I can give for how to do this is.... don't.

You are indeed right, but i would like to offer a service in the future as i grow and need to choose a system that will handle an RF overlay of some sort so that set top decoders and transmitters can be added later. I wouldnt want a bad decision now to hurt me in 4 years time.

Also having a tv overlay of some sort - perhaps even by ip multicast makes it more appealing for me to be able to wholesale access to a national triple play isp. Our market is currently panning out that in 2 years time there will be two or three national isp's doing tv and i would like to wholesale to one of them so they can expand their network into my area. One of the reasons why i will be getting power pole access is because it increases services to the community. This would be a big selling point.

Bigpaddy_Irl

join:2005-12-12
Ireland
Jeez I cant belive ye are all talking about this too.
I am actually about to begin a fiber pilot project to a new village built in 2000 with over 600 homes all on top of one another.
I will be micro trenching the footpaths/sidewalks, just waiting on the trencher to arrive now
Its very hard to find proper best practises though in building a fiber network.
I estimated the project will cost me €150,000 and should take no longer than 3 months.
Its the way to go now. 43% of tv is watched over here online.
I too would be very interested to hear how ye are planning to do things and what equipment you are going to use...

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:3
reply to raytaylor
said by raytaylor:

i would like to offer a service in the future as i grow and need to choose a system that will handle an RF overlay of some sort so that set top decoders and transmitters can be added later.

Personally, I wouldn't even deal with an RF overlay. Doing RF on a third wavelength just doesn't seem worth it when everything is moving to IP set top boxes. I met with another ISP who did the RF overlay system because they already had a cable system and it was an older retirement population, most of who just want their standard definition content on their TV without any complicated set top boxes. They claimed the WDM mutiplexers chewed up more of their optical budget than they would have liked. Plus the roof full of RF encoders cost something like a million bucks.

Most of the telco's I have talked to or read about who are doing fiber are switching to IP delivery since so much stuff is going "on demand" anyway. The recommendation I was given was if I ever became a CATV provider (or if I ever leased out access to one) was to simply deliver it over an IPTV VLAN on the fiber.

Either way, it looked like going the RF path would be a huge expense for a dying technology that may never see an ROI if there is any decent competition in the area, which there is in my case, even if it is only satellite.

prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
reply to raytaylor
When I looked at the costs of adding a Telephone port and a coax connector to the ONU's, it doubled the price. The OLT was roughly double before adding the extra 5K for the TV equipment.

Then there's regulatory issues...

I found it wasn't worth the hassle. I'm quite content just providing internet. It has been almost maintenance free and my customers are happier. I'll also have future expansion for the next decade without having to purchase new equipment. It's just a win-win all around.

My theory is, the better my system is, the happier my customers are, the less work I have to do, the happier I am.


treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to raytaylor
prairiesky you have any pictures of ur completed fiber roll out?

prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
said by treichhart:

prairiesky you have any pictures of ur completed fiber roll out?

It's not quite completed yet, still have most of it to do in the spring, but I have quite a few people.

What would you want to see pics of? TBH, it's not overly exciting.... A bunch of cable in the ground and some connectors.... It's no laser light show or anything fun....


treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to raytaylor
well you have any pics coming from your wireless tower down to your fiber equipment?

prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
I can take some.... I need snow shoes to get there right now. But really, It's not all that exciting! Ethernet down from the tower, into a managed switch, from that switch into another cabinet (ran out of room and didn't want to squish fiber in there too). From that switch into a black box, about the size of a switch and out of there comes a thin orange fiber! I'll take some when I'm out next.


treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to raytaylor
sounds good


Rhaas
Premium
join:2005-12-19
Bernie, MO
reply to prairiesky
I dropped you a pm a month or so ago.

How is the SUN equipment holding up? Have you had any issues? early failures? etc?
--
I survived Hale-Bopp!

prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
said by Rhaas:

I dropped you a pm a month or so ago.

How is the SUN equipment holding up? Have you had any issues? early failures? etc?

]

ah crap... I meant to get back to you, things are crazy!

So far so good. operating temps have been between -5c and +45c in the box and no issues. No failures as of yet and some people have been on for almost 2 years. I did have an odd issue with a power meter which they offered to send me a new one with the next order. It would work and give me the correct reading, but when the cap was on, it would not be a -50 signal.... so I wasn't sure it was working. Overall it's been great, but now that i've said it, something's bound to mess up real soon


WVNet

@98.142.42.x
reply to jcremin
Wow, seems like everyone is heading in the same direction!
We're running our first aerial fiber ring this year to connect our tower sites and a few local institutions. Using the 'figure-8' fiber with a self-support cable built in. Aerial splice cases, big tubular things like the telco and cable outfits use. HP Procurve switches with the new Mikrotik RB2011uas-2hnd-in as a CPE.

Biggest hurdle here in the US is the red tape. You have to be a CLEC to get an interconnect agreement - that takes months and $$$. Then the interconnect with the local ILEC takes months and $$$$, and that'll give you pole & duct access. Once you get a franchise agreement with the various towns, that is....more time and $$$.

If you can get access to private land to trench on, such as for small subdivisions or housing developments, that'll save you a lot of time and money while you're learning the ropes.

It's key to have a few anchor customers lined up, apartment buildings, hospitals, libraries, government offices, schools.

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:3

1 recommendation

said by WVNet :

Wow, seems like everyone is heading in the same direction!

Yeah, it seems like a pretty logical move for many of us. My network is mature enough to be self sufficient, but some of it is nearing the end of its useful life. In order to stay competitive, I figure I can either invest half the money now for equipment that will limp me along competitively for now, and then invest the other half in another 5 years when I need to replace the network again.... or I figure can invest twice as much now for fiber which should get me at least 15 years or more, without all the environmental issues that I seem to spend way too much time dealing with, and I don't have to spend a single minute worrying about capacity for a LONG time.

said by WVNet :

Biggest hurdle here in the US is the red tape. You have to be a CLEC to get an interconnect agreement - that takes months and $$$. Then the interconnect with the local ILEC takes months and $$$$, and that'll give you pole & duct access. Once you get a franchise agreement with the various towns, that is....more time and $$$.

I'm working totally independent without any CLEC status or anything. All my backhauling is still wireless and I'm planning on building out in villages where I already have service to, so I'm not interconnecting with anyone. Since I'm staying strictly internet, no franchise agreement needed for the towns. I'm also working directly with the power company who owns the poles in order to lease space on them, which is a fairly straighforward contract.

The biggest single cost will be the hardware, followed by the labor to install. I'm doing all the engineering/splicing/and customer drops myself, so that's a big chunk of change saved. The power company (understandably) wanted the feeder and distribution figure-8 cables to be hung my an NESC qualified contractor, but we have a customer who just so happens to be a linesman for the same power company who is willing to do the aerial work for $40/hr, which I figure is a hard price to beat. Even if I could hang it all myself, I'd be hard pressed to say that it wouldn't be worth that just to have him do it anyway!

I've got a lot of planning left to do, but I'm pretty confident in the knowledge I have been able to find so far. When I get a bit more time, I'll start posting some of my plans which will hopefully be helpful to anyone else starting down this path, and I figure another set of eyes might catch something that I overlooked.

Joe

prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
reply to raytaylor
Was thinking about it somemore last night and the one thing I wish the equipment has was the ability to remotely view client signal strength. Right now it's just an on/off symbol and that's it. We're all used to seeing signal strengths on our gear and the the data the UBNT radios give is really nice. If that interface could be combined, it would be a heck of a product.

raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1
said by prairiesky:

Was thinking about it somemore last night and the one thing I wish the equipment has was the ability to remotely view client signal strength. Right now it's just an on/off symbol and that's it. We're all used to seeing signal strengths on our gear and the the data the UBNT radios give is really nice. If that interface could be combined, it would be a heck of a product.

So in the sun equipment, does the main manager application not show you?

Is there a web interface in each ONT or do they automatically talk back to the OLT which sends them their speed profiles etc?

Can you program different ports on the ONT to run on a different vlan. eg. i could do multicast tv on one vlan and internet on another port? It might make sense for me to get the 4 port ONT's so that i can remotley enable ethernet ports 2,3,4 for iptv decoders.

raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1
reply to raytaylor
Anyone know how much bandwidth iptv streams use for a standard def and high def / 720p stream - compressed like you get through a satellite service?

Just thinking that 40 channels running in standard def at 1mbit would use 40mbits and 10 high def channels at 4mbit would use another 40 mbits - so thats 80mbit
And then with 32 subs per line,

oh no wait, still pleanty of bandwidth. was thinking it might run out.

Am i right with the 1mbit / 4mbit estimates? I know thats what divx uses.

raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1
reply to raytaylor
prairesky - did you buy a fusion splicer?
I am trying to work out what tools i need

Did you use loose tube or did you blow it?

Am i right in thinking that sun's gepon splitters are just Y connectors, and not anymore than a 2-way splitter - like a star config? If i am seeing that right, i assume i use the 90/10 splitters as i pass each house, and take 10% of the signal and send it in, with the remaining 90% going to the pedestal.

How is each unit numbered? Do they need programming to connect to the ONT or do they just act like a switch ethernet network where when you plug an olt in, it just works, and appears as a CPE unit in the ONT interface?

You were asking about pictures before - i would love to see some videos on how you provision an ONT to make it speak layer2 (if thats needed) and set the speed profile - eg. I would like port 1 on the ONT to be the internet vlan with an ingress of 512k and an egress of 15mbits, while port 2 is the iptv vlan with 100mbit in/out. Can that be done?

Any screenshots of the management systems?


Inssomniak
The Glitch
Premium
join:2005-04-06
Cayuga, ON
kudos:2
reply to raytaylor
This all sound really cool.

I wish I could do a project like this :O
--
OptionsDSL Wireless Internet
»www.optionsdsl.ca


TomS_
Git-r-done
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-19
London, UK
kudos:5
reply to raytaylor
If youre going to do IPTV, then look at using multicast, instead of customers firing up their own unicast streams. You'll save heaps of bandwidth, especially if its just broadcast video like the local TV stations.

Multicast will send one copy of the video stream over the network, and it gets copied only where it needs to.


TomS_
Git-r-done
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-19
London, UK
kudos:5

2 edits
reply to raytaylor
Splitters usually live in a pedestal/cabinet somewhere around the estate. The splitter will take an incoming signal and break it up in 32 or 64 ways or some other number. These are then patched on to point to point fibres that are presented on little breakout boxes in a pit or on a pole somewhere along the street, and then a lead in cable run to the ONT.

PON splitter: »www.bitsonlight.com/ftth/images/···inet.JPG
"Breakout box" (with the angled connectors on it): »www.bitsonlight.com/ftth/images/···npit.JPG

(Actually the page I took these images from has some good info on it: »www.bitsonlight.com/ftth/)

"Breakout box" is probably not the right term, but its the best thing I can think of to describe it right now. The page above suggests "lead in module" but Im not experienced enough with PON to know if thats an industry standard term, or just what the operator of that PON network is calling it.

ONTs can usually be programmed to, e.g., turn on or off a service if there is no subscription. ONTs with multiple data ports can have their individual data ports provisioned for individual services, if you're using GEPON (which is ethernet based) then you can put each one in its own VLAN (IIRC) which would mean you could do something like what you were asking (Internet and IPTV services.)

Rate limiting might be achieved at a BRAS if you're using PPPoE for example. I guess it depends on the ONT and how smart it is, usually they are nothing more than a media converter with some basic smarts for maintenance and fault finding.

And of course it all depends on the type of PON you are using, and the vendor of your PON equipment. You'd have to contact some of them to get your specific questions answered, unless someone here has already done the work and can share their experience.

FWIW the network currently being rolled out in Australia is using Alcatel-Lucent PON gear. Huawei also manufacture PON gear, and its probably cheaper.


Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to raytaylor
said by raytaylor:

Anyone know how much bandwidth iptv streams use for a standard def and high def / 720p stream - compressed like you get through a satellite service?

6mbit max / 18mbit max for mpeg2 based service. Don't know off hand on mpeg4, but the iptv boxes capable of doing full mpeg4 over 2 encapsulation or straight 4 is still fairly pricey.

raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1
reply to TomS_
said by TomS_:

Splitters usually live in a pedestal/cabinet somewhere around the estate. The splitter will take an incoming signal and break it up in 32 or 64 ways or some other number. These are then patched on to point to point fibres that are presented on little breakout boxes in a pit or on a pole somewhere along the street, and then a lead in cable run to the ONT.

I couldnt see a 32-way splitter on sun's website, all i could find are Y splitters/couplers

Clicking the splitters menu links on their website takes me to this page which they describe as couplers.
»www.suntelecommunication.cn/Spli···ers.html

so am trying to figure out if i can split it as the trunk fiber goes down the street by splitting it at each pedestal, or would i have to split it at a central location such as a cabinet you describe above using something i need to buy from another company?

they seem to sell everything else except a 32 way splitter.
Am i missing something?

raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1
reply to raytaylor
Yes i was missing something
I think i was looking for a planer splitter
»www.suntelecommunication.cn/PLC.html