During the FTTH Council Europe conference last week, one of the interesting points that were raised was whether it was required to deploy FTTH networks or to go for a combined temporary fibre/copper approach. Actually, this point was raised by an incumbent, which said to the audience that they were not going to deploy FTTH until they detected a demand for bandwidth that could just be delivered by means of FTTH…
I tend to think in the long term and therefore I see this rationale quite closed, but nevertheless, if you take into account that those guys work on very complex business model basis and that they have to justify every single euro that they invest, then one can understand this.
However, if we think wider, we can list several fact that help to justify an FTTH deployment (we will talk about funding later):
- offer new services: actually, this is the main reason for an access network deployment: to offer services that customers buy so the operator gets money back from its investment. Quite basic, right?
- offer new opportunities: if you offer an FTTH network in a depressed region, you return in not monetary in the short term but you generate wealthiness, as the existence of broadband infrastructure encourages the installation of businesses, which turn into the generation of work for the inhabitants. Actually, this was one of the conclusions of an study that was presented last week in Copenhagen.
- increase the value of the land/house/business: the fact of having a high-speed network connection (fiber preferably) increases the value of the properties. It is like having an industrial estate near a highway or next to a road…
After analyzing these three facts (there are more and I encourage you to comment them) one thinks about who should lead the deployment of NGNs… network operators to sell new services or municipalities and government to promote regions and generate new business oportunities… Maybe both at the same time, ones by deploying the infrastructure (roads) and others by offering the services?
What do you think?