New Hampshire FastRoads has built an open access middle mile and last mile network that aggregates demand for the entire region, including community anchor institutions, large and small businesses, government offices and agencies, and residents. The routes built with stimulus funds are currently providing middle mile fiber to 22 communities and 220 community anchor institutions in the Fast Roads region, and two last mile projects have been providing support for fiber connections to approximately 1300 businesses and residents in Rindge and Enfield, where many residents have been limited to slow DSL or dial up Internet access.
The open access business model and network equipment being used by FastRoads is time-tested: Danville, Virginia’s nDanville community open access project has successfully used this approach for its network since 2007, and the very rural Wired Road regional community open access project has been using this approach since early 2008--prices for Internet access in the Wired Road area have declined by as much as 70% because five service providers are currently competing for customers on the Wired Road network.
The FastRoads network has been managed by a qualified private sector firm with demonstrated experience managing wide area networks, and outside plant maintenance has been provided by multiple qualified private sector firms. The FastRoads network has been designed to support a carrier class, fully redundant, self-healing core backbone capable of handling any bandwidth requirements needed by higher education, health care, businesses, and local government, including DWDM lightpaths and GigE, 10GigE, 40GigE circuits and higher upon request.
Middle mile services delivered to CAIs in the FastRoads service area have been be transported via fiber provided by the UNH middle mile backbone. FastRoads has been installing network equipment in local communities to provide off-ramps to deliver open access services to these CAIs and surrounding businesses and residents upon request.
Last Mile Projects
Two census block groups in Enfield and Rindge, New Hampshire were chosen as the locations for last mile pilot projects. FastRoads has built a world class fiber to the premises FTTP network dedicating a single Active fiber to each home taking service with capacity up to 1Gbps.
In other FastRoads communities critical infrastructure has been installed to provide up to 1Gbps connections to Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) including schools, libraries, government entities, public safety institutions, healthcare institutions where otherwise under-served. In addition to serving CAIs the infrastructure installed will be able to also serve business parks and large employers. Incremental and regular investments can, over several years, provide substantial improvements in telecom infrastructure. The FastRoads middle mile infrastructure project will provide the initial footprint that FastRoads needs to expand on its own with the vision of providing a connection to any business or residence that requests it, in any FastRoads community.
The core network consists of a collapsed fiber ring consisting of two 10Gigabit Ethernet links between the two largest equipment locations (Hanover COLO and Keene COLO) and multiple Gigabit Ethernet links between the equipment locations and one or both of the largest equipment shelters (Hanover and Keene). A minimum of Gigabit Ethernet is used between core routers on the network and capacity can be increased when traffic needs demand. The new fiber middle mile construction by UNH will consist of 288 fiber single mode cables.
FastRoads middle mile and FastRoads last mile switches have been placed in 24 locations to support the fiber infrastructure throughout each community in our Western New Hampshire footprint. We plan for this capacity to be used to support and create a fully redundant ring throughout two states in Northern New England. Service providers can attach their equipment and inject their services onto the network at pre-defined switches attached to the core network at the Hanover or the Keene COLO facilities. Once a service has been defined in the network management system, the service can be automatically provisioned and delivered to any connected customer anywhere on the FastRoads network with varying service bandwidth levels.