Fiber-to-the-home will ultimately replace copper

Optical networking technology is increasingly become more common across the globe.

By Donna Donnowitz
August 22, 2011
According to a report by Technology Spectator, telecommunications engineers from all of the major services and equipment organizations around the globe agree that fiber-to-the-home is the only real telecommunications technology that will survive future innovations.

Technology experts and politicians seem to have similar agendas where FTTH is concerned.

The report says that, initially the plan was for New Zealand to extend the life of its copper but that idea was dropped. New Zealand considered extending the life of its copper by utilizing fiber-to-the-node, which involved the deployment of thousands of street cabinets. However, only Telecom NZ would profit from this plan, since no other company could afford to install equipment in all of these cabinets.

The government of New Zealand ultimately decided that this plan was not in the best interest of the country and abandoned the FTTN plan. New Zealand has since replaced this with a plan to roll out FTTH.

Across the globe governments are looking into extending the life of their copper networks through technologies such as FTTN, says the report.

Many nations want to move forward to open infrastructure that can be used by organizations across many industry sectors. Gearing up for facilities-based infrastructure competition for next-generation-networks no longer makes sense. Telcos facing the possibility that their governments might intervene in their plans are not in any hurry to invest in FTTN. However, these same telcos realize that constructing open networks based on their traditional return on investment models is not a good plan.

Increasingly governments and telcos are starting to understand that basic infrastructure should be treated as a utility. According to the report, this will necessitate a completely new way of building and financing these infrastructures.

The report adds that there is life left in copper infrastructure for communications. However, a reliance on copper for too long will see the nation using it at a competitive disadvantage as the rest of the world is moving ahead and developing the next generation of communications technology.

Evidence of this can be seen clearly in places like China. According to a report from industry analyst Ovum, the fiber broadband market will be dominated by China in the next five years. Most of this growth is the result of the sheer size of the Chinese population.


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