In recent years, cable MSOs have focused on providing WiFi hotspots primarily as a broadband value-add for their own customers. With the May 2012 announcement of CableWiFi™, a partnership among leading cable MSOs that positions cable-operated Wi-Fi as a widely available alternative to mobile broadband, this build-out took on a new urgency. To help with this accelerated build-out, 2 of the top 3 CATV MSOs selected TrueNet Communications as their CableWiFi™ partner to provide hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) and RF network design services and oversee projects that have resulted in the deployment of 10’s of thousand of new WiFi Hotspots throughout their service territory. One such project took place in Northern Virginia and involved over 1600 WiFi Hotspots.
Scope of Work
The Northern Virginia CableWiFi™ rollout called for the 1600 outdoor WiFi hotspots to be located in popular, high traffic locations. Each Wireless Access Point (WAP) is designed to serve multiple establishments such as retail stores, cafes, restaurants, offices, clubs, outdoor malls, and parks. The WAPs are either strand or pole mounted with device power supplied from the CATV plant through a power-passing tap.
The project’s Scope of Work called for TrueNet to review the MSO’s existing aerial and underground HFC plant and make the changes required to support WAPs in the areas to be served including:
- Replace existing non-conforming taps with power-passing taps or insert power-passing taps where no tap exists.
- Where the CATV plant is underground, determine the best pathway to serve each pole mounted WAP.
- Verify that Wireless Access Point power consumption can be supported by the existing CATV power.
- Where power is insufficient to support WAPs, determine how to best augment the existing CATV power plant.
- All design work to be done in Lode Data Design Assist Version 7.0 and posted into the MSO’s proprietary GIS mapping program built on GE Small World that serves as the core repository for all RF, Fiber, Route and address data related to its HFC network.
The project was completed on-time and on-budget. Key CableWiFi™ project deliverables to the MSO included:
- Optimized HFC network design in Lode Data
- Design drafted and documented in MSO’s proprietary GIS mapping program
- Construction map with notes
- Complete Bill of Materials