Pulse Broadband to build FTTH networks in Missouri and Minnesota

Pulse Broadband says it will construct fiber to the home (FTTH) networks for United Electric Cooperative in Maryville, MO, and Arrowhead Electric Cooperative in Lutsen, MN.

Both networks will use Pulse Broadband’s patented FTTH architecture, which uses a “distributed tap” approach that requires less fiber than typical PONs, the company asserts.

“This is great news for our company” said Pulse Broadband CEO Bill Shreffler “as we nearly triple the number of miles we have under construction today”. The projects in Minnesota and Missouri will span more than 2,000 miles combined with the potential to serve over 8,000 cooperative member households with advanced broadband services delivered by the patented Pulse fiber architecture. The cost of the two projects will total more than $39 million and is part of the recently announced second round of broadband funding through the 2009 stimulus act.

Said Gene Dorrel, general manager of United Electric Cooperative, “Our co-op’s mission is to improve the quality of life for members. I think today’s announcement really shows our commitment to bring the most advanced broadband services to our area. Pulse Broadband is the leader in this technology and our community sees the benefits.”

Joe Buttweiler, mnager of broadband projects for Arrowhead Electric Cooperative said, “This is great news for the residents of Cook County. The Pulse technology will be more advanced than even the networks in urban areas and will bring much needed service to northeastern Minnesota.”

How is the FTTH solution offered by Pulse Broadband different than other FTTH architectures on the market?

One of Pulse’s founders, Dave Pangrac, has been widely recognized over the years for his contributions to the development of innovative network architecture, including developing hybrid-fiber-coaxial technology that became the de facto standard in the cable industry. Recognizing the power of fiber optic networks and the need to reduce costs in order to reach more consumers, he and his team have developed a FTTH design utilizing “distributed taps” to reduce the overall cost of constructing the network. Although the design uses less fiber, it does not compromise speed or quality and, in fact, is easier to repair and maintain and in many cases has greater capacity than existing FTTH designs.

The key difference between Pulse’s architecture and conventional “PON” architecture is as follows:

 Conventional FTTH Designs












Notice that the above design requires one fiber for each home passed. This could mean that there could be as many as 400 fibers emanating from a node! This is a costly proposition and creates risk to the extent the fiber is cut (imagine matching and splicing 400 fibers to restore service!).


Pulse’s FTTH Architecture



Note that Pulse’s design relies on only 4-8 fibers from the node. Since bandwidth is not constrained by the fiber (in fact a single fiber can carry massive amounts of data, current constraints are only in the network equipment), this solution is as robust as competing FTTH architectures. Pulse’s solution takes 4-8 fibers to “taps” that then extend single fibers “drops” to each home. This also allows a cooperative to build drops only to those members who subscriber to telecommunications services, thus further saving costs. Using the above architecture we have managed to reduce the total construction cost significantly compared to traditional FTTH architectures.

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