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FTTH critical to support changing television technologies

By Max Burkhalter
September 13, 2011
The television industry has changed a great deal during the past few years, but, the technology that provides the foundation for television delivery, mainly coaxial cables, have not. As a result, many service providers are struggling to meet consumer demands as IPTV programs emerge to encourage consumers to turn to alternative television experiences, according to a recent Fiber to the Home Council Europe report.

The report said many television viewers are currently debating between using their computers as a primary viewing option and maintaining their current television services. For the most part, IPTV systems allow for robust and sophisticated service options, such as video streaming and other extra services. However, traditional television systems are limited by their dependence on coaxial cable infrastructure.

As a result, the council said the television industry is increasingly supporting FTTH initiatives to allow service providers to offer more robust viewing technologies. Optical networks are critical to help future proof networks, the report said, and increased FTTH deployment would have a major positive impact on how television service providers enable customers.

The council explained fiber-optic networks offer major advantages over current cabling infrastructure. Besides being future proof, the report said optical networks can be installed in higher cable densities than coaxial cable infrastructure. Therefore, service providers will be able to run more data through the network, supporting more channels and special functions. Optical network technology is also capable of providing increased security from hacking and uses light signal, reducing the static and interference created when electric signals are transmitted close to one another.

Beside providing a superior technological foundation, optical network technologies can enable a variety of advanced television services, the report said. Such capabilities as viewing and recording multiple video streams simultaneously, new broadcasting models and increased support for mobile technologies are all enabled when using FTTH infrastructure.

FTTH, along with a number of other networking technologies, are becoming more popular around the globe. A recent Infonetics Research report found total spending on PON, DSL and FTTH aggregation equipment rose 12 percent to $2.1 billion during the second quarter of 2011. This represented substantial growth in the sector and a major climb after a slow first quarter. The limited growth in the first quarter is not looked at as a negative in the sector, but was simply a seasonal decline, according to the study.


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