The Question on Every WISP Mind: What’s Next After VDSL?
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The Question on Every WISP’s Mind: What’s Next After VDSL?

By Shawn Holiday, Sckipio Senior Director of Business Development

At this year’s WISPAMERICA event, held in March in Birmingham, Alabama, there was one question on the tip of every wireless internet service provider’s (WISP) tongue. How do we migrate from aging VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line) services?

The need to upgrade speed and equipment is very real for WISPs across the U.S. As equipment ages out and customers demand faster broadband speeds, VDSL won’t cut it as primary source to deliver high-speed broadband. This is especially true in multi-dwelling unit (MDU) locations, where high-speed broadband is difficult to obtain without digging trenches for fiber, or more importantly obtaining building unit owners’ unanimous permission to do so.

WISP MDU customers are seeking ultra-fast broadband, without the upheaval of laying additional infrastructure – and they want it now. Enter Gfast.

Many WISPs were intrigued with Gfast, as the technology offers speeds up to 1 Gbps in MDUs. In fact, four out of the top five telcos are successfully trialing or deploying Gfast technology in major U.S. metro markets. If large telcos can implement Gfast across vast networks and areas, local WISPs should easily be able to integrate Gfast throughout their regions.

Still, many WISPs had questions about Gfast installations and transferring network access from VDSL to Gfast. The simple answer is that Gfast is a direct replacement for aging VDSL equipment and uses the same infrastructure (copper wires) to deliver affordable ultra-high-speed broadband. The Gfast installation process is often plug and play for directly replacing VDSL equipment.

Gfast is already seen as the replacement for VDSL, according to analyst firm Dell’Oro Group. In a recent report, 4Q17 Broadband Access Quarterly Report, DSL equipment sales fell in 2017, decreasing to $2.5 billion as operators continue seeking alternative deployments. Dell’Oro predicted that Gfast revenue will grow as operators finish testing and trialing Gfast. “The DSL market decelerated in the second half of 2017,” said Alam Tamboli, Senior Analyst at Dell’Oro Group. “Gfast Amendment 3 chipsets have recently become available, and operators are furiously testing and trialing the products. We found some operators are hesitant to deploy VDSL and are delaying investments to wait for Gfast or PON.”

WISPs face steep competition from larger service providers but deploying Gfast helps to level the playing field and enables them to compete head-on in smaller markets. To learn more about deploying Gfast technologies, click here.