Vantage Point Solutions Vouches For The Soundness Of The Proposal
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, November 4, 2019 – ACA Connects filed a white paper today with the Federal Communications Commission demonstrating that the 5G Plus Plan proposal to connect MVPD earth stations with fiber as a replacement for C-Band video delivery can be accomplished within the Plan’s five-year timeline, and within 18-36 months in urban and suburban areas where demand for 5G is most intense.
The author of the white paper, Vantage Point Solutions (VPS), is a top consulting firm that specializes in engineering, permitting and construction oversight to ensure that broadband networks are built according to industry standards and on schedule. VPS has engineered more than $2.5 billion in fiber networks in recent years and manages the construction of nearly 10,000 miles of fiber each year.
“VPS has few, if any, equals when it comes to understanding the challenges of deploying fiber in rural America,” said ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka. “If this firm says MVPD earth station owners can secure the fiber needed under the 5G Plus Plan’s timetable to transport video, then it can be done. End of story.”
VPS finds that connecting all MVPD earth stations with fiber through the purchase of indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) on 300,000 route miles of existing fiber and the construction of an additional 120,000 route miles, as proposed in the 5G Plus Plan, is achievable within the plan’s timeframes. “Urban and suburban areas have almost ubiquitous fiber IRU availability, and securing an IRU on existing fiber is, in general, relatively straightforward,” VPS explains. “It can be done much faster than new construction and, based on our experience, IRUs typically can be obtained within 30 to 90 days.”
As for the 120,000 route miles of new fiber the plan requires, VPS observes that each MVPD would be responsible only for a small fraction of the build.
“On average, each MVPD would be responsible for approximately 165 miles of fiber construction, which is a manageable deployment project for MVPDs,” VPS says.
VPS further explains that “middle-mile” fiber deployments of the sort the 5G Plus Plan requires are less difficult and expensive, and less likely to encounter administrative delays or other obstacles, than “last-mile” fiber deployments that connect individual homes and businesses.
“The Plan’s proposed buildout does not pose unique challenges to the industry in the aggregate that would prevent it from occurring on schedule,” VPS further explains. “The 24,000 miles per year of new construction that The Plan requires on average is a small part of the overall industry construction per year.”
The VPS white paper, sponsored by ACA Connects, demonstrates that there is no barrier that would prevent MVPD earth station operators from obtaining the fiber connectivity necessary to replace C-Band video delivery within the 5G Plus Plan’s time frames.
Furthermore, the plan’s timeline for securing access to fiber is comparable to any reasonable timeline expectations of other proposals for clearing spectrum for 5G.
Accordingly, enabling MVPD earth stations to transition from the C-Band to fiber is consistent with the FCC’s goals of ensuring that C-Band spectrum is unleashed quickly to meet demand for 5G and that incumbent users of the band are protected from harm to existing operations.
About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://acaconnects.org