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ADSL - the FTTH killer

By Max Burkhalter
November 20, 2012
In horror movies, there are generally two types of killers - the loud flashy ones that you know are coming for you but just can't escape and the quiet, subtle ones that you know must be somewhere in the vicinity but leave you terrified because you can't see them. Fiber-to-the-home networks are plagued by a silent killer that is hampering innovation - ADSL infrastructure.

We're not talking about Jaws
ADSL is nothing like Jaws. You aren't going to have the loud epic soundtrack bringing the terror to viewers. There isn't really a glimpsed shark sticking its fin up in the water or biting through half a boat just to prove that it can, none of that kind of intimidation. ADSL is much more like IT from the Stephen King novel and movie adaptation. This killer clown looks a bit flashy, but it hangs out in the background, luring you in quietly before springing its massive fangs and taking you down. Sometimes IT does something dramatic just to remind you to be afraid, but it tends to have a subtle touch when it actually takes somebody down.

Similarly, ADSL doesn't seem like a big threat. The infrastructure has been in existence for a while and is comfortable to most customers and telecoms alike. However, the success of ADSL is quietly preventing FTTH from taking hold in many markets, limiting the pace of innovation. This is especially evident in the European sector.

Evaluating ADSL's role in slowing fiber deployment
A recent RapidTVNews report explained that Russia and Ukraine combined have 6.2 million fiber subscribers. As of the end of June, there were just 5.95 million fiber subscribers in the 35 core European nations. ADSL is lurking in the background, quietly stifling FTTH deployment.

According to the news source, the issue with the disparity in FTTH innovation is not because Russia and Ukraine are so excited about FTTH that everybody is buying in. Instead, the issue is that most of Europe is served by advanced ADSL networks that were built before fiber became a major option for telecoms. As a result, many people are satisfied with solid broadband connections and are not willing to spend on fiber. This has slowed FTTH deployment in much of Europe, but FTTH is gradually catching up with ADSL and many projects are emerging.

One of the keys to accelerating FTTH deployment is effectively using media converters to ensure network interoperability and cost-effective deployment. Fiber to Ethernet media conversion can enable telecoms to easily connect homes to the fiber network and enact advanced network functionality.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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