NB+C’s OSP Fiber Service Line – Expansion and Growth
Professional engineering is an important and expanding feature of NB+C’s many service offerings. From civil design to structural analysis, NB+C’s growing subject matter expertise in this discipline has allowed for significant expansion into the wireless and fiber industries.
The recent market growth of fiber infrastructure, in particular, has afforded NB+C many opportunities to expand our client base, service offerings and geographic reach led by strong engineering leadership. Overall, NB+C’s fiber client base has expanded to seventeen in 2022. NB+C now provides underground and aerial engineering for commercial real estate, public schools, small cells, macros, data centers, and now Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) with services ranging from surveying, civil design, rod and roping, construction inspection and splicing. Moreover, NB+C’s first FTTH award was in Tennessee, where NB+C provided field surveying, design drawings, and fiber splice matrices for 13 communities.
“As NB+C continues its client and industry diversification strategy,” says Greg Tully, NB+C EVP of Strategic Programs, “professional services to the fiber industry ranks very high in importance. Fiber networks have become not only the primary backhaul medium for wireless networks, but the growing backbone they provide is one of the keys to increasing the broadband footprint in the United States.”
With the importance of broadband expansion in mind, FTTH is quite different from NB+C’s traditional fiber work. While the basic drawing development and field work are the same, FTTH has many more networking design components. There are two types of FTTH architecture categories – Active Optical Network (AON) and Passive Optical Network (PON). Moreover, each client has their own standards, networking components, and design criteria. The new work NB+C has been awarded has been PON, which is the preferred network for FTTH.
To illustrate the regional and national importance of FTTH work, the federal government has created the RDOF (Rural Digital Opportunity Fund). Phase 1 will provide up to $16.4 billion and Phase 2 will provide $4.4 billion for new fiber networks to solve the RDOF digital divide mandate . In addition, in 2018, the USDA Rural Broadband Initiative introduced the ReConnect Program for which the United States Congress appropriated $600 million FY2018, $500 million FY2019, $555 million FY2021, and $635 million FY2022. Coupled with private equity investment of $60 billion over the next 5 years and the states providing additional funding, FTTH will be a significant portion of the NB+C workload.
NB+C has long prided itself on its ability as a company to quickly and capably respond to market trends. In the US market for telecommunications infrastructure, these recent trends have put an emphasis on fiber systems’ growth to reach broadband expansion goals, and quality engineering services to do so. NB+C will continue to be relentless in working with our clients, our communities and our growing roster of engineering professionals to make these goals a reality.