Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kaplan Telephone talks Fiber

The Advertiser has a short article this morning on Kaplan Telephone's fiber to the home buildout. Longtime readers will have seen laudatory mention of Louisiana's local projects on these pages over the years. Of the three privately held small, local telephone companies building fiber that I know of Kaplan is by far the least assuming. (Eatel, Cameron Communications, and Kaplan Telephone are the three.) When I have checked their website over the years they've always said a version of "coming soon." They still do, not withstanding the Advertiser's reporting that half of Kaplan is connected to the system. An interesting point is that Cox is in Kaplan...the local boys aren't doing too shabby.

The website doesn't mention a price for FTTH service indicating to me that they aren't yet differentiating between their DSL and FTTH connections—nor offering fiber's capacity to their customers; the description of their service indicates slower DSL speeds--up to 1 meg range since dialup is 56K and the advertised 15x would be 840K. It's not entirely clear that they are offering anything beyond DSL electronics and a standard phone modem hung off fiber with those sorts of numbers. That may explain why the company is reticent to describe their network as a FTTH system on their website.

Kaplan does directly sell what sounds like a faster WiFi point to point wireless broadband product though...and I'd be interested in hearing about how that is deployed and where it is sold.

Kaplan Telephone, EATEL and Cameron Communication do prove that it doesn't take dense populations or big city smarts to run a fiber network. What it does take is a local company willing to serve its community.

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