Tilson conducted a technical assessment of two large metropolitan broadband networks to identify any issues that could result in significant capital investment or operational expenses. The engagement focused on the outside plant (OSP) and MPLS network including OSP design, construction, reliability, suitability, and network capacity. Assessment was based on analysis of technical documents, GIS and KMZ files, and on-site evaluations across the two North American cities. While on site, the Tilson teams interviewed management representatives, inspected aerial and underground OSP, evaluated key hub sites, and conducted fiber optic characterization tests on a sample of non-active fiber strands. As part of the assessment, Tilson also provided a comprehensive review of the three-year network modernization plan.
Tilson determined that while the network was well constructed and performed within industry standards, there were some issues due to the aging of the network and the equipment. Of the 69 POP and hub sites, 20 lacked interconnection diversity creating a potential for bottlenecks and single points-of-failure. In terms of capacity and expandability, the network had some potential choke points with 3% of the route miles in city 1 and 8% of the route miles in city 2 experiencing high utilization; 80%-100%. Review of the MPLS network and inspection of the hub sites revealed components of outdated technology previously unidentified. Evaluation of the three-year-modernization plan revealed additional capital investment of $7-9M.