2010: the fiber year

Today Benoît Felten’s post at Fiberevolution raised a very interesting point about xDSL and FTTH deployments. He states that this decade is the ADSL decade and next year will be the year of optic fiber.

Maybe this is the case in France, but I doubt that this will happen in Spain, although some indicators may reflect that things have to change.

Here in Spain, the situation is so dramatic, that I can not see any solution but the government investing in NGNs… However, I can not see this happening either because the government is now focussed on social policies, rasing taxes, reducing R&D so I do not think they will raise a multi-billion investment plan to develop NGNs.

Thus, what should we do?

I predict that 2010 will not be the FTTH year in Spain. Now, most of the operators are focused on reducing prices instead of on investing on new infrastructures because due to the economic situation, they prefer to offer more competitive products. Fair enough.

However, if we are stuck with xDSL in 2010, at least, telecom operators should offer more advanced products. When I say advanced, I do not mean 10Mbps down/ 320kbps up, but to offer some sort of intermediate solutions that are a little bit more symmetric. I have told many times to my collegues that I would rather prefer a 4Mbps symmetric ADSL than a 30Mbps/1Mbps connection. I realise that I am somehow a power user, because I am using remote storage applications, video-conference and work with big files, but I assume that if we gave more symmetry to the network, end users would have a much better experience. Actually, CMT published a few days ago that the cost of upgrading upstream was not that high.

So… maybe 2010 is the fiber year in France and in other European countries, but I do not see this hapenning in Spain… Maybe 2011 is the year here?

What I expect to happen next year is that some municipalities will start developing their own FTTH projects. However, if they are not connected to core networks by means of fiber, we may end up creating high-speed digital villages (about which I will talk tomorrow).

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