Select Dublin families are enjoying a fully-automated home and the fastest internet they’ve ever experienced as part of a new pilot. Their cost for upgrading and automating everything from the family refrigerator to lighting in their homes: zero dollars. The pioneer program unites six of the nation’s top smart home technology companies in what Dublin calls its “Fiber to the Home” pilot.
“We are outfitting just a few homes now, but this will be helpful for many families because it will provide invaluable information. What’s learned will be key as Dublin City Council pursues its goal of being the most connected city in the U.S.,” said Dublin CIO Doug McCollough.
Elysian Fiber, TRAXyl, Integrated Smart Homes, AECOM, Nokia and Fishel are collaborating with the City of Dublin to dramatically increase internet connection speeds compared with technologies now used in most places. This new technology brings together the recent innovation of actually “painting” optical fiber directly on paved surfaces coupled with cutting-edge smart home technologies. Some of the benefits for families include better ability to stay connected and much better performance of internet for high level devices all over the house. The painted fiber is immune to lightning strikes and power surges. Unlike existing copper wires- it can transmit the 8K, ultra high-definition technology some devices may demand. The program plots out better internet from the street to each device a resident could want in their home. The woman at the helm of pulling together the ground-breaking team is actually a Dublin resident herself.
“A few years ago, I listened to Dublin residents voicing their frustrations with the lack of bandwidth and in some cases limited choices for internet service,” said Tina Lyden, President & CEO, Elysian Fiber. “They said they didn’t have anything of substance to get the bandwidth needed to do what they wanted within their homes, like cut the cord. So I chimed in and said that I knew a few things about infrastructure. I’d be happy to lean in on this conversation, and it essentially took off from there. I am a proud Dublin resident, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help contribute to the City’s vision to be the most connected.”
Lyden’s Elysian Fiber is leading the team that has installed minimally invasive, fiber-optic broadband in each of the four homes. Integrated Smart Homes has installed a new kind of artificial intelligence technology called Josh.AI. It is a privacy-based, voice driven home automation system. “What is said in your home, stays in your home,” says Stauffer. Josh.AI promises your data will never be sold or used for advertising. Nokia is providing its next-generation equipment to better allow homeowners to work, operate their home systems and use many devices with lightning speed.
“This service will provide truly pristine bandwidth, which is what Dublin residents are looking to achieve,” Lyden said. “Dublin has a tremendous amount of pride and belief in their technology endeavors, so I wanted a team that could come to the table and helps to grow this vision and bring it to reality.”
Each home is experiencing increased internet connection speed, less frustration with bandwidth limitations and a much less intrusive installation process than a traditional cabling infrastructure installation.
“It’s no wonder to me that Elysian and the City of Dublin are engaged in this groundbreaking project due to their forward thinking and determination,” said Keith Turner, VP Sales at TRAXyl. TRAXyl offers the first minimally disruptive installation (MDI) alternative by “painting” optical fiber directly onto paved surfaces, bonding and sealing it in durable protective coatings. Their process involves zero digging, trenching, or cutting into other utilities. Figures show this innovative way to lay fiber can cost 70% less than traditional trenching methods.
“First and foremost, we know that Dublin has been very active and open about their goal of being the smartest city in the country,” said Bill Stauffer, President of Integrated Smart Homes. “We can install a great home automation system, but if the internet or WIFI is poor, the client doesn’t think the smart home works well”. “When Elysian Fiber installed fiber into the homes, it radically changed the experience for home automation and smart home technologies.” Josh.AI recognizes full sentences like “OK Josh, dim the lights, watch Robin Hood on Netflix, lower the thermostat and lock the front door.”
“We are excited to have participated in the planning, design, engineering, and installation of the Dublin Fiber to the Home pilot,” said Shaun Harker, Technology Solutions Leader at AECOM. “While conceived well before COVID, the increased need for remote learning, teleworking, along with the original goal of fundamental connectivity for internet and entertainment, has shown that high-speed gigabit connectivity to every home is a life-changer.”
Dublin’s “Fiber to The Home” pilot began in June 2021 and is ongoing as the project partners gather data. This study will inform the feasibility of fiber connected home automation systems in Dublin, the state of Ohio and has opportunity for families well beyond.
Check back for updates on this ongoing, cutting-edge pilot program.
For additional information, learn more from the team members of this project:
Bill Stauffer, President, Integrated Smart Homes: “In their efforts to protect entire neighborhoods, Ring generously donated technologies to all the homes, which they will keep after the pilot,” said Stauffer. “We are showcasing a product called Josh.AI. It was designed by a former NASA research scientist who was concerned about privacy in the home. Another great feature of Josh is natural voice recognition. Imagine telling Josh you are hot, and the thermostat is automatically turned down two degrees.”
Doug McCollough, City of Dublin: “Connected Dublin is all about testing and utilizing technology to improve lives and experiences for our residents, workforce and visitors,” said McCollough. “This project is already demonstrating the positive impacts smart home technology can have in a household. We are dedicated to making lives better and building systems in our communities to ensure Dublin is the most connected city in the U.S.”
Keith Turner, VP Sales, TRAXyL, Inc. explains the new innovative technology of painting optic fiber onto the roadway: “Fiber can withstand a tremendous amount of pressure, it’s got the tensile strength of steel, if you pull it in the end, it’s very, very, very resilient, yet it’s still glass, it’s tantamount to a human hair,” said Turner. “If you bend it back on itself, you can break it very easily, so the challenge was getting the mechanical locked into the fiber on a roadway so it’s able to withstand tire impacts.”
Matt Miller, AECOM, describes why Dublin offered the right situation for the incredible gigabyte capabilities: “It’s a great location. Dublin is very forward thinking, and they are what feels like a modern city that has certain areas that just aren’t connected today right now. The citizens of Dublin need this connectivity,” said Miller. “They’re the types of users that would consume this amount of bandwidth that would need this type of connectivity, yet they can’t get it in every neighborhood, so that’s why we think this location is perfect.”
Shaun Harker, AECOM, on how this fiber tech could help dismantle the digital divide: “Many people value connectivity within their lives as an essential process for growth. You have utilities like electricity and water. The internet is kind of the next utility in terms of connectivity and being able to get access to services and education and other tools that facilitate someone’s growth within a community. Growing families’ connectivity helps the community then grow,” said Harker. “This new method could allow more people all over to get better capabilities by painting the fiber to the road home.”
Tina Lyden, President & CEO, Elysian Fiber, on how this can help cities all over Ohio: “We know that through our resources -we bring multi-decade experiences collectively as a team- that we’re able to now step into this and offer these turnkey solutions to our city,” said Lyden. “We would love to take this model throughout Dublin, being the innovative community that they are. We are grateful to the City of Dublin’s leadership and Doug McCollough for being drivers of innovation in our community. Next, we could take this model and replicate this offering to other municipalities and into other counties, including rural areas, because what we’ve all brought together is tried and true.”
Homer Wicke, head of Field Operations, Elysian Fiber, on the rapid deployment of high-speed internet to homes: “We can install our fiber optic solution quickly and be in and out of each home in less than a day. You barely knew installation crews were in the neighborhood. That’s a big change to other fiber installation processes, which are disruptive to residents. The entire neighborhood dealt with traffic tie-ups and digging,” said Wicke. “We had a little slice in the yard, and that was all you’re seeing. So this process has been non-obtrusive and rapid deployment.”
Vikas Trehan, head of Nokia NAM Enterprise Partner Sales, describes its partnership with Dublin and Fiber to Home: “We are proud to be partnering with the City of Dublin for their Fiber to the Home project with our Nokia ISAM FX solution. Nokia solutions serve seven out of every ten fiber homes in the U.S. and offer a wide range of services that enable a smooth evolution from Gigabit to 25G Gigabit speeds.”
Nokia is a fiber leader, with >100M PON lines shipped so far, #1 market share in XGS-PON worldwide (source: Dell’Oro 2Q2021), and the 1st with 25G PON solution.
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