First Avenue, RCN Strike Strategic Deal

Cable MSO RCN Business Solutions will use wireless network extensions from First Avenue Networks to expand the market for its bulk triple-play services to more large business customers, while offering network redundancy.

In return, RCN will offer First Avenue access to its fiber links, to support wholesale backhaul service for fixed wireless and mobile carriers.

Provided trials are successful, First Avenue will equip RCN with wireless extensions to its fiber network at up to 155mbps.

Even in the largest metro areas in the U.S., fiber-optic network operators are not able to provide sufficient coverage to businesses and office parks, leaving holes in the network, says Emmy Johnson, principal analyst at SkyLight Research. The ability to extend fiber networks by utilizing mid- to high-capacity wireless links at speeds equal to or greater than broadband is an extremely savvy and economical approach to reaching more customers, while having the added benefit of providing the shortest time to market.

The deal is more than a customer win. The fact that RCN’s fiber presence is in many of our target markets, along with RCN Business Solutions’ focus on extending their network connectivity to quickly and cost effectively reach new customers, makes for an ideal partnership where everybody wins – especially the end customers, says Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of First Avenue. It exemplifies the value of our fiber extension solution – which represents the foundation of the second phase of our business plan. Providing wireless extensions to RCN’s fiber-optic networks will leverage and complement our existing and planned mobile backhaul activities.

The two are initiating the business relationship with a trial, underway in the New York City metropolitan market. The companies plan to expand the relationship into RCNs other markets, including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia/Lehigh Valley and Washington, DC.

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