VoIP Meets FttH

According to Wikipedia, a Greenfield community, is a new town, typically built to a master plan on previously undeveloped land. In addition to coherent planning around architecture, transportation, retail and commercial infrastructure, and the like, such communities tend, overwhelmingly, to be “wired”—to embrace fiber-optic-based telecommunications as a core service.

Dana Point, Calif.-based Greenfield Communications is a supplier of just such fiber-to-the-home (FttH) communications solutions, designing and deploying them on a turnkey basis for developers of planned residential communities since 2001.

Greenfield has so far “lit” a total of ten FttH projects, serving some 5,000 customers. New projects in the pipeline and in various earlier stages of negotiation are slated to bring another 75,000 to 200,000 homes on-line.

Until recently, Greenfield was serving Internet connectivity needs only, but at the end of August, the company announced an agreement with GlobalTouch Telecom (GTT—see profile), whereby that company’s SIPTalk-Pro telephony and IP-based videophone services will be made available to Greenfield’s subscribers.

GTT does sell retail VoIP, fax, and videophone services direct to residential and business customers, but the bulk of the company’s business is complete, turnkey, private-labeled VoIP offerings for other organizations, such as carriers, cable MSOs, marketing companies, and Internet service providers—including those using fiber to the home. GTT claims it can get a new customer turned up in 60 days or less.

VoIPplanet.com recently spoke with GTT’s CEO, Greg Welch, who told us that Greenfield “is really one of the first shakers on that side of the business—the original FTTH guys.”

“We’re seeing the Greenfield model as something that’s really going to catch on,” Welch continued. “Builders go through this cycle with the ups and downs of the real estate market: They’re building more homes when things are good, they’re selling less homes when things are not so good. If you can talk to that builder and say, ‘How would you like to have some incremental revenue off that community of 500 or 1,000 houses you just built?’ It’s a pretty new idea for most of them.”

Mike Powers, Greenfield Communications’s CEO said, GlobalTouch’s VoIP platform “gives providers the ideal combinations of rich features and low CAPEX/OPEX of a hosted approach. Providers in the VoIP space are looking to minimize costs while still delivering a topnotch service,” he said. “The combination of GlobalTouch’s core technology and the Greenfield Communications market approach is a perfect way to accomplish these goals.

Greenfield is planning to take its service offering one giant step farther, adding TV content—although it’s not disclosing specific release plans yet.

“The triple play bundle concept of, say $80, $90, $100 for your voice service, your data service, and your content—that really fits in with a wide variety of income levels,” Welch pointed out. “From someone who makes $50 thousand a year to someone who makes $1 million a year, they’re all using those kinds of services.”

“As an industry, we are barely scratching the surface in regard to consumer market penetration,” Welch continued, referencing an In-Stat report predicting that the worldwide consumer VoIP market will grow to some $44 billion by 2011. “We look forward to working with innovators such as Greenfield, and to achieving our shared goal of spreading quality digital voice and video to individuals worldwide,” he said.

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