Nokia has announced a Rural Broadband Relief Program for regional service providers in North America aspiring to close the digital divide. Unveiled at the Fiber Connect conference, Nokia has set aside Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) kits for expedited delivery to rural service providers. Each ‘network-in-a-box’ kit is suitable for building a network for a town of up to 1,000 homes.
Households in unserved or underserved areas have been hardest hit by global supply chain shortages of telecommunications equipment as operators planning new gigabit broadband networks have been unable to complete their builds. While both public and private funds are available in unprecedented quantities, many small operators have found themselves unable to secure the necessary materials from their established supply chains to meet their self-imposed construction schedules or regulatory-imposed milestones.
Each Nokia Broadband Relief Kit is comprised of the necessary FTTH equipment, software licenses, support, and state-of-the-art in-home Wi-Fi gateways required to serve a typical town of 1,000 households. The kits support GPON and XGS-PON over a single port and fibre using Nokia’s Multi-PON-Module (MPM) technology.
Sandy Motley, President, Fixed Networks at Nokia, said: “The pandemic magnified the importance of having broadband regardless of a household’s geographical location. Families residing in rural communities, particularly those with school-aged children, suffered greatly from a lack of broadband and ability to participate in remote learning. We want to support the operators launching in hyper-localised markets but who cannot secure broadband equipment in these difficult times. In addition, we also believe that all service providers need to have one eye on the future, so all the kits can support 25G PON today or when the need arises.”
Jeff Heynen, VP of Broadband Access and Home Networking at Dell’Oro Group, said: “While nearly every company in every industry has been impacted by global shortages of critical electronic components and chips, Nokia’s global supply chain has allowed them to fair a bit better than other companies in this market vertical.”
According to Dell’Oro, Nokia was the 2021 market share leader for XGS-PON equipment Seven out of 10 fibre homes in the USA are served using Nokia FTTH kit.