Ontario phone company installs multi-loop DSL product

Wightman Telecommunications, an independent telecom company in southern Ontario, has adopted digital subscriber line (DSL) technology that it says provides at least eight times the capacity of typical DSL without resorting to expensive


The multi-loop DSL product, provided by Israel-based Spediant Systems, could be an ideal interim solution for small and medium-sized businesses, said Tom Sullivan, general manager of Clifford, Ont.-based Wightman.

“”If my manufacturing facility and warehouse are a few miles apart, I may need a (local area network) extension between the two,”” he said, adding Spediant’s product could allow such businesses to install a “”last-mile”” extension without using fibre.

Sullivan said the concept of having this much bandwidth over copper is “”a real shock to the customer.”” The Spediant equipment aggregates the bandwidth of up to eight copper loops at extended distances from a central office. By bonding the connections, the equipment allows Wightman to get symmetrical bandwidth at 18 Mbps, said Sullivan.

Wightman is able to offer the higher bandwidth without having to lease a facility from a carrier or extend its fibre network, said Sullivan, adding the company has leased cable pairs from Bell Canada while co-locating at the telephone giant’s central offices.

Wightman also favours the Spediant product for its ability to monitor everything remotely. Previously, if equipment didn’t work, technicians couldn’t identify the problem without traveling to the site.

“”And even then you didn’t know whether they were working at maximum capacity,”” said Sullivan. “”With this system, we can look at (the network) remotely from the Web to see the current status of each of the pairs. You can look at errors, set thresholds, generate alarms … and look at how many packets have been lost.””

As for cost-savings, there were other solutions that were cheaper than Spediant’s, says Sullivan. In fact, the equipment’s cost is “”significant,”” he says. “”(But) it’s not about cost-savings for us; it’s about a better product that we can remotely manage.””

Richard Nash, vice-president of business development for Spediant’s New Jersey office, would not reveal the cost of the product for competitive reasons. But he did emphasize users would see significant cost savings because of their ability to forgo fibre.

Nash added that Wightman is Spediant’s first Canadian customer. The company has several customers located in the U.S., he said.

Joe Greene, vice-president, telecommunications and Internet research at IDC Canada, recently told ITBusiness.ca that increased demand for higher speed Internet services means service providers will continue to upgrade their networks. There is enough competition out there that the costs of these upgrades will come down, he added.

In an October statement, Leif-Olof Wallin, senior program director for the Meta Group, said “”service providers must leverage existing copper infrastructure as much as possible in order to quickly and cost-effectively answer SMEs’ growing bandwidth demands.””

“”Technology capable of delivering fiber-speed services over existing copper plants promising minimal capital expenditure and fast return on investment is top of mind of many service providers,”” he said.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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