In defending FTTH, one runs up against two problems: the price (it's expensive) and the speed (do we need all that?). Of course these two issues are interconnected; the higher the demand for FTTH, the lower the average price per subscriber. The more FTTH we have the greater to case to develop content that will take advantage of the speed of FTTH. Its a classic "catch 22".

There has certainly been much debate in Australia recently about the NBN and whether it should be FTTN or FTTH, and those same two agruements come out loud and strong - we dont need all that speed and its going to cost too much.

The reality is much of the world is already going FTTH (there are already 32 million FTTH connected homes) and we have to ensure as much of Australia also heads done the same path delivering services and speeds that are more than just 25Mbps broadband.

Tim Poulus - a member of the Fibre Ring - has done a great job in producing a concise summary of its advantages:

Growth. At current growth rates, access networks will soon run out of capacity.
Video. The internet was originally designed with data in mind. Soon graphics came along, and now video is all over the place. All the e- and tele- applications of the world probably have a video component, often for upstream too (symmetrical, that is). Of course, there is IPTV too. Plus: video evolves toward HD, 3-D and holography.

Apps. New applications will come as FTTH spreads, pretty much the way electrical instruments were developed when the electric grid became universally available. Check out this Alcatel-Lucent release (on the ng Connect Program) and this one from Aepona, to see how application development and how to bring them to end users are hot today. What it all means? Telcos need to partner if they want reap new revenue steams.

File sharing. This goes beyond illegal P2P. Some examples that make files go up, down, left and right through the network: file sharing (legal versions), place-shifting (Sling), cloud computing, storage and online backing-up.

Copper doesn't cut it. Copper networks were designed with just voice in mind. DSL did wonders, but is running out of steam now.
Timing. Even if we don't need it today, we certainly need it in 10 years time. Build-out takes long, so we better start today.
GDP grab. If you don't build it, somebody else will. Cities and entire nations are already competing to build out FTTH networks in order to grab some extra GDP growth. Hence, broadband stims are finding their way to the market.

Opex. FTTH is cheaper to service than copper.
Green. Redundant FTTH networks save on travel expenses, fuel, carbon emissions, etc.

Redundancy. We need excess capacity because we hate waiting. We also need low latency for fancy apps such as gaming.

Moving. Perhaps not everybody needs FTTH, but people move - on average, once every 7 years (could be a bit slower today). So, not every body but certainly every home needs FTTH.

End-game. Not just copper owners switch to fiber, alternative carriers and utility companies (with no legacy to worry about) also choose FTTH - not coax, mind you. Even cable execs acknowledge that FTTH is the end game; and those that do not, call their Docsis 3.0 service 'Fiber Power'

For the full article or other information on Tim's Blog


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