The decision last month by the Federal government to build the National Broadband Network using Fibre to the Home technology rather than Fibre to the Node is proving to be the right decision.

Recently several other countries have also made a similar decision to Australia.

United Arab Emirates

Etisalat, the UAE-based telecommunications services provider, will migrate 712,000 customers onto its proposed Fibre to the Home network with plans to connect the entire country by the end of 2011.

Abu Dhabi will become the first capital city in the world to be fully connected by Fibre to the Home a senior executive of Etisalat said. "With its high-speed Internet offering speeds up to 100 Mbps, this technology will boost adoption of new age internet services like IPTV, Video On Demand, and online gaming, creating future smart homes," Etisalat Vice President for Consumer Marketing told a roundtable on the opening day of Middle East Communications, or MECOM, on Monday.

The planned network by Etisalat will provide a high-speed connectivity for families and businesses through the use of optical line terminal and optical network terminals. Huawei last year announced that it had been chosen by Etisalat to build a large-scale commercial FTTH network in the UAE.

United States

Now to the United States which has the second largest FTTH deployment in the world. Officials have released an historic government plan to spend tens of billions of dollars constructing a nationwide, state-of-the-art broadband network featuring speeds 100 times faster than today's technology. Haven't heard about this yet? That's because the announcement was made last month in Australia, rather than in states and was missed by much of the press.

Susan Crawford, special assistant to the President for science, technology and innovation policy and a member of the National Economic Council, recently said she is "personally intrigued" by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's ambitious goal to build a national Fibre to the Home network.

Even with this year's US$7.2 billion cash infusion from Congress to stimulate domestic broadband investment, experts acknowledge that gaps in availability and bandwidth will remain, with pockets of the United States left with no service or antiquated technology.

"Simply put, a digital economy requires fiber, and Australia is making the determination that for that to work it will require a utility approach," Crawford said, noting that Singapore is making a similar investment and Britain and the Netherlands are exploring the concept.

"These governments understand that a wholesale network can deliver massive social and economic benefits," she said, referring to capacity that would be made available to carriers at reduced rates.


In another announcement this time in Spain, according to a market growth projection made by the country's telecom regulator, Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones (CMT), almost half of Spain's 14 million households could have fiber-to-the-home connections by 2023.

The regulator, as part of a feasibility study on next-generation networks, gave what it called a "conservative" estimate that between 43 percent and 46 percent of Spanish households in 2023 would have fiber-access broadband, most likely from a PON based access network.

Those connections would be provided by national operator Telefónica plus alternative operators, such as Orange Spain and Jazztel plc, that would be using the incumbent's fiber ducts and trenches. Telefónica is still in the early stage of fiber-access deployments, with fewer than 100,000 lines of fiber-to-the-home or fiber-to-the-building rolled out.


And in the Phillipines, the encumbant and government owned carrier, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), has announced it is launching within this year its “fiber to the home” (FTTH) program as part of its efforts to intensify its broadband deliver platform.

Pilot areas for FTTH include Bonifacio Global City, Forbes Park, Urdaneta Village, Ayala Alabang, Dasmarinas Village, Wack-Wack, Ayala Heights, Valle Verde and certain places covered by PLDT Subictel and PLDT Clarktel.


Lebanese Telecommunication Minister Jebran Bassil has announced that FTTH will be installed in selected areas of Beirut. The cost of the deployment, which is subject to cabinet approval, is estimated to be €11.3 million and should take 10 months to complete. At present, there are close to 100,000 DSL broadband subscribers in Lebanon. This project would bring 70Mbps FTTH services to a total of around 75,000 Internet subscribers.


Portugal Telecom has provided more detail on its investment plans for FTTH. The €650 million development will follow guidelines prescribed by national regulator Anacom, and keeps the operator on track to meet its ambitious target of 1m FTTH subscribers by the end of 2009.


T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT), a Croatian telco is facilitating mass next-generation broadband deployment for its customers. T-HT has announced an accelerated programme of broadband internet access network expansion, including upping investment in FTTH. 50,000 customers should be connected to new FTTH services by the end of the year, and the telco is set to invest more than HRK1 billion in the development of fixed line broadband services during 2009.


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