Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Are there any serious analysts still gung-ho for fibre?

Once upon a time it was a lonely path being a fibre sceptic. These days I am in very good company indeed. Here's what leading international telecoms analysts have to say about FTTH:

"The disproportionately high spend on [FTTH] is highly problematic. It may come to be seen as inappropriate use of capital in the emerging competitive environment." [March 2012]

"The time required to roll out and install FTTH is as large a barrier as cost … There are very few plausible combinations of home services that will require over 100Mbps bandwidth by 2017." [April 2012]

"FTTH deployment costs are about five times greater than FTTC costs." [March 2013]

"In the current economic climate, it seems unnecessarily dogmatic to espouse ubiquitous FTTH, particularly when the broader ecosystem and regulatory support is out of step with market realities ... [A]lthough deeper penetration of fiber into the network is a must, universal FTTH is an impractical luxury that telcos cannot really afford. … It is difficult for a significant volume of users to justify paying a premium for higher speeds when the applications that they currently use function sufficiently well over high-speed DSL lines" [February 2013]

"The combination of sunk costs and highly uncertain demand (both in terms of take up and willingness to pay for ultra-fast broadband services) makes [FTTH] investments very risky … services that would make full use of the higher bandwidth of FTTH are not at present available" [Summer 2012]

"The initial focus of the European institutions and of national governments to date has been largely on deployment of fibre-based NGA – [FTTH] – largely to the exclusion of other high speed broadband capable infrastructure. This focus was arguably excessive … More recent statements by the European Commission suggest an increasing recognition of the need for a … strategy that acknowledges the potentially complementary role of other technologies." [September 2012]

"Operators’ interest in pay-as-you-grow strategies is also motivated by a dawning realisation of quite how hard – and expensive – rolling fiber right to the home is. In particular, the challenge of installing fibre in front gardens, buildings and individual homes has been “vastly underestimated”" [November 2012]

"Australia’s current FTTH-led model … is actually going very much against the global trend of operators using existing network assets to avoid the huge costs of FTTH in brown field sites." [March 2013]

No comments:

Post a Comment