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Mediacom’s Project Gigabit scales business reach with dual coax, fiber facilities

Mediacom is establishing its presence in more business buildings in its footprint, but being a cable MSO serving Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, the service provider is taking a dual approach that incorporates fiber and coax.

Dan Templin, VP of business services for Mediacom, told Fierce Installer in an interview that since the business density in its markets is relatively small, the service provider wanted to make sure the buildings it is connecting into will be future proofed to accommodate existing and new customers.

“We’re actually doing dual cables where we are running both fiber and coax,” Templin said. “Where we have customers in place, we’re putting a box in so there’s no time or cost for anyone in these areas to subscribe and down the road we can go and connect at the drop.”

The dual fiber and coax drop includes a four-pair fiber and coax in single sheath to address various service configurations.

“We’re able to provide a combination of services to multi-tenant buildings or if somebody progresses with coax today, but at some point there is going to be a demand for fiber and that’s where you’re going to continue to see capacity grow,” Templin said. “We’re building out both networks and making them both available to those customers.”

This is all part of Mediacom’s broader three year, $1 billion initiative to upgrade and expand its national broadband network that will bring gigabit speed services to more businesses and homes via DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber-based technologies.

In March, Mediacom launched Project Gigabit, a $1 billion plan to bring 1 Gbps broadband service to 3 million homes and businesses it serves.

For businesses in its 22-state serving territory, that means the service provider is extending its network inside downtown areas and commercial districts in order to increase its “lit buildings” density. That will bring tens of thousands of new businesses access to fiber-based communications services.

Having identified the target buildings that are within close proximity of its fiber and coax facilities, the next move for Mediacom is to drive more new customers to MPLS-based WAN services.

This could include a mix of large and small businesses, but also smaller offices of regional businesses like health care clinics that may need to communicate in other towns and cities.

“It is also giving us an opportunity to provide an MPLS product since we have that fiber connectivity, we can provide WAN and MPLS connectivity where we have not historically,” Templin said. “We did not have a good MPLS service over WAN, and because we’re doing this combination of services that are technology agnostic, we can provide a broader range of services to those customers as well.”

As it wires more buildings with coax and fiber, Mediacom does have to overcome the initial challenge that the markets it serves lack the density of major NFL cities.

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