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Utility Broadband Players Disrupting Broadband Delivery with CPE on Electric Meters

Broadband services targeting underserved communities with innovative meters



The Who


A subsidiary of a national energy provider was formed to explore rural broadband solutions through
partnerships with public electric utilities. Their mission is to provide underserviced and disregarded communities connectivity for telemedicine, online education, and technical skills development, vital to today’s modern workforce and economic vitality.

The What

Their approach was to provide turn-key broadband services delivered to homes through a unique customer premise equipment (CPE) attached to the electric meter. A broadband access system, forming a broadband access hub device (hub device) and broadband access premise devices (premise devices) wirelessly coupled the hub device to supply broadband to multiple user equipment. The approach creates a cost structure that shifts a larger part of the build out and install cost after the customer has signed up. In addition to the electric utility meter solution, the off-the-shelf install is an improvement over custom costs for traditional wireless internet service providers (WISPs) today. The high-speed signal is coupled with the main power line entering the home, the signal is picked up at the nearest outlet and securely routed to the rest of the home via Wi-Fi mesh or wired Ethernet.

Challenges

Streamlining customer installs.
Customer quality of experience monitoring.

Providing visibility of network health.

Remote fault resolution.

Providing a pipeline for enhancing product offering in life.

Solution

ETI Software deployed our Service Management Platform, which includes modules for device management, billing and self-service portals.

Result

Streamlining customer installs. When equipment is installed on-site for a new customer the system puts the results of automated tests in the hands of field engineers to prevent a drawn-out install process and ensure the best possible day one experience.
Customer quality of experience monitoring. The solution provides visibility of key KPIs collected
directly from customer equipment so the customer’s experience can be assessed and compared to benchmarks.
Providing visibility of network health. Individual customer equipment performance is aggregated
to provide a monitor of health for the entire network.
Remote fault resolution. Putting the key tools in the hands of CSR agents to allow them to test,
diagnose and resolve issues without the need for on-site visits.
Providing a pipeline for enhancing product offering. Devices installed at customer premises can
be remotely upgraded to enhance the product offering over time.






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