Knoxville Utilities Board LightSpeed Ahead


Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) has selected LightSpeed Technologies a Nokia partner, to deliver the core and middle mile infrastructure in support of a multi-million-dollar, multi-gigabit symmetrical passive optical network (XGS-PON) enabling Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) for its more than 478,000 municipal customers.

The IP Core Network currently being implemented is comprised primarily of state-of-the-art Nokia 7750 Service Routers. When complete, the XGS-PON network will enable KUB to provide 100% fiber-to-the-home, symmetrical broadband Internet access to its customers.

The Knoxville Utilities Board was created by an amendment to the Knoxville City Charter in 1939. As an independent agency of the City of Knoxville, KUB provides electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater services to nearly half a million customers in Knoxville and parts of seven surrounding counties. In December 2021, KUB announced it would begin to roll out its new fiber optic network. LightSpeed was selected to provide the IP Core for the XGS-PON network, which is set to be delivered in a multi-phase approach. Phase one includes the construction of the fiber network backbone, which runs along the current electrical lines. Phase two expands the network roll-out to different areas and will continue until fiber is deployed to cover the entire KUB electric service territory. When complete, KUB will be able to offer broadband services to its customers, including standard triple play services including Internet, TV, and voice.

“KUB believes broadband services should be available regardless of where you live. Partnering with LightSpeed helps us to bridge the digital divide throughout the communities we serve,” adds Andrew Hmielewski, KUB Director of Fiber Operations. “We are grateful to be Knoxville’s hometown utility, and we look forward to enhancing our service capabilities and continuing to help our community grow in the years to come.”

Bridging the digital divide with more affordable broadband solutions throughout Knoxville, Tennessee and its surrounding areas is important for local municipalities. According to data from Broadband Now, Knoxville is the 23rd most connected city in the state of Tennessee. Today, almost half of Knoxville’s population has access to multiple providers, with over 9,000 people without access to more than one wired provider, and over 3,000 people without access to a wired connection capable of delivering 25 Mbps.

“We were thrilled to be selected by KUB to help expand their utility services with state-of-the-art fiber broadband capabilities, further enabling KUB to provide municipality customers with affordable Internet, voice and TV services,” comments John Brannon, CEO of LightSpeed Technologies. “Our award-winning leadership, engineering and operations team brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of XGS-PON deployments to this project. We look forward to partnering with other utilities and co-ops to add services and enhance capabilities for their customers.”

LightSpeed’s mission is to assist customers in achieving best-in-class solutions for their network. Founded in 2001, the company specializes in providing end-to-end network services and support, including network design and engineering, installation and integration services, project management, ongoing maintenance, and technical support. The LightSpeed team has a successful track record of installing numerous XGS-PON networks since 2015, and has been named Nokia’s top North American Value-Added Reseller five times over the past six years.

“As Nokia’s Top Value-Added Reseller in North America for 2022, we have great confidence in LightSpeed’s technical capabilities and experience as an exclusive provider of Nokia’s products and services since 2001,” said Vikas Trehan, North America Partner Sales Leader at Nokia. “We’re excited to see the positive impact the implementation of this network will have on the Knoxville community and surrounding counties served by KUB.”


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