Agile Networks, founded in 2009 by Kyle Quillen, recently partnered with RADWIN & Facebook to potentially transform the way metropolitan cities across the country access broadband. Launching in Canton, Ohio, this pilot deployment of RADWIN’s Terragraph technology is the first time it will be used in a commercial application. When proven successful, it will open new possibilities and opportunities for the city and many more like it.
In a conversation I recently had with Kyle Quillen he had this to say about the project: “So everybody talks about rural broadband, they talk about urban broadband, connectivity, the different distribution or consumption mechanisms, ya know….fixed connectivity in your home, Wi-Fi, 5G, all of these various different technologies. We think one of the things that we think is interesting about Terragraph, which is a technology that was developed by Facebook to be commercialized by RADWIN and deployed at the first commercial pilot globally after Canton Ohio, is that the cost structure to bring fiber into homes or fiber into the buildings in a-lot of these metropolitan communities or these hundred thousand plus communities is it really cost prohibitive. The technology that Terragraph is working with, the cost structure is really a game changer, and the way you’re looking at providing multi gigabit access to these densities of people. It could be a community 50 miles outside of town that only has 3 megabits DSL today or it could be downtown Manhattan ya know, where you have a really expensive or long wait times for fiber. We think that the technology is a game changer in the cost and the speed of deployment scenarios for bringing 2,3,4, 5 and ultimately 10 Megabit type services to these dense urban metros or metropolitan communities is where it’s really costly to run fiber that helps get more folks on board quicker.”
Recently at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Facebook unveiled its enterprising Terragraph initiative. It is part of a larger plan that utilizes a multitude of different technologies, all in the pursuit of getting underdeveloped and 3rd world communities online. Outside of being something that further connects all of us and can be considered as philanthropic, it does obviously contribute to Facebook’s bottom line. The more people who have access to the internet, the more people who can join Facebook.
Terragraph, developed by RADWIN and launched in 2016, is a mesh system that taps into the 60 GHz spectrum that is generally underused.
delivers multi-gig wireless access services to homes and businesses in urban and suburban environments. These systems are not only cost effective and quilt to put up but, can bring consumers speeds up to 10-100 times faster then their current systems. The technology bypasses the need to lay out and bury fiber broadband cables, which is costly and can be challenging in certain geographies, by tapping the expanding service providers’ network coverage beyond the fiber footprint and taking advantage of preexisting poles and buildings. The unique mesh architecture overcomes the mmWave challenges such as line-of-sight and range and enables network efficient and cost-effective expansion of broadband services.
“Everyone would love to have fiber. I would love to have fiber go to every building that I have or every customer that I have, but the reality is that the cost structure and the requirements of their customers today does not justify it. More fiber investment is always going to be good; This just stands to extend that fiber 300 meters, 500 meters, the last mile if you will, in a very cost-conscious way, without taking the hit on capacity and performance that has historically been attributed to wireless technology.” – Kyle Quillen
We will keep you updated with the progress of the project as well as coverage of the launch.