Vianet Picks DZS to Deliver Broadband to Rural Ontario

DZS, a global enabler in optical and packet-based mobile transport, broadband connectivity and software defined networking solutions, has announced that Vianet, a Sudbury, Ontario-based communications service provider, has selected its fiber-to-the-home technology to bring high-capacity broadband access networks to hundreds of residents of the Township of Carling, a traditionally underserved rural community in northern Ontario, Canada.

“This project marks a major milestone for our subscribers in the Township of Carling area, who are now enjoying faster, more stable and more affordable network connections at a time when robust digital connectivity is of unprecedented importance for rural families,” said Will Gasteiger, President and Founder of Vianet. “At Vianet, our roots are in rural Canada, and helping bring reliable broadband to rural Canadians is our mission. These projects are made possible by our fruitful partnership with DZS, whose technology we have trusted for over 20 years, Canada’s Center of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), who helped fund the project, the Township of Carling, and the homeowners themselves.”

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To bring high speed internet to the Township of Carling, Vianet brought a 10Gbps GPON fiber link to a disused, 280-foot tower in nearby Parry Sound, where it had previously established fiber. Vianet constructed a new tower at the Township of Carling and linked the two via a 1Gbps microwave signal.

They brought fiber to subscribers’ premises from there, as dense tree cover prevented linking homes to the tower directly. Current service levels are 50Mbps down/10Mbps up for internet with no data caps. Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) provided 50% of the initial funding due to the project’s unique approach.

While the original project scope was 80 homes, it quickly expanded to all 240 homes in the catchment area. Vianet has applied to government funding programs to extend their fiber to a further 89 homes. Vianet is also involved with DZS in multiple other projects serving approximately 25 rural communities that are also already deployed or in the planning phase.

As part of the deployment to the Township of Carling, DZS provided a range of its FTTx solutions, including the DZS Velocity MXK-F219 with GPON OLTs and DZS Helix 2424A1 ONTs. Vianet selected DZS for its experience with comparable deployments, local support, and product scalability, making them competitive for low density deployments.

“DZS has over two decades of experience meeting the needs of underserved and unserved communities in North America, Europe and around the world with flexible, standards-based FTTH technology,” said Jay Hilbert, Executive Vice President of AEMEA Sales at DZS. “As Canada, the US and many other nations take steps to bring high-capacity broadband access networks to rural areas, DZS remains proudly committed to supporting network expansion and upgrade projects through our extensive, multi-gigabit capable broadband access portfolio. We are especially pleased by our joint success with long-time partner Vianet, whose forward-looking approach, technical innovation and unwavering commitment to rural subscribers exemplify what it takes to meet rural broadband challenges.”

In the Township of Carling, as with many rural broadband projects, geography and geology pose special challenges that call for cooperation between the service provider and the municipality. Here, extremely thin soils covering hard bedrock made telephone poles and conventional underground trenches prohibitively expensive. In the spirit of partnership and mutual benefit, the township agreed to allow Vianet to lay their fiber conduit in roadbeds where necessary. This flexibility allowed the project to remain viable.

For new subscribers that Vianet is now reaching in the Township of Carling, stable high-speed connectivity has a tremendous impact on quality of life by giving them access to streaming services, fast data uploads/downloads and other bandwidth-intensive, cloud-based services that many people living in cities have long taken for granted.

“The Township of Carling project demonstrates a cost-effective, innovative approach to bridge the connectivity gap for underserved communities like those in northern Ontario,” said Jean-Charles Fahmy, President & CEO, CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, a key project funder. “We at CENGN congratulate Vianet and its community and business partners for their close collaboration in helping to build stronger local economies in their region.”

Developed for service reliability in demanding environments, DZS FTTH infrastructure is enabling Vianet to “close the digital divide” with high-performance, resilient, multi-service solutions that meet rural and underserved communities’ bandwidth, scalability, and cost requirements. Known worldwide for reliable products and responsive service and support, DZS anticipates continued strong demand for its innovative, standards-based portfolio of fiber access solutions.