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Netherlands gaining ground in FTTH race

By Max Burkhalter
June 20, 2013

Talking about fiber-to-the-homeadoption as an arms race between countries may be hyperbole, but there is definitely plenty of competition between nations trying to gain economic leverage by transitioning to fiber-based telecom networks as quickly as possible. FTTH deployment can unlock economic opportunities, consumer benefits and a variety of other advantages in a region where such services are widely accessible. However, the advantages of an FTTH network could deteriorate once the technology becomes ubiquitous, as the network format would be so common that there would no longer be motivation to move into an area because of the network service that is available.

As a result, countries that can get ahead in FTTH adoption stand to improve their place in the global marketplace. The Netherlands is emerging as one such location, as Dutch telecoms have been rapidly expanding the FTTH footprint in the nation, Telcompaper reported.

Looking at Dutch FTTH efforts
According to the news source, approximately 1.4 million homes in the Netherlands had access to FTTH networks as of the end of 2012. Approximately 33 percent of those homes had activated the FTTH network by subscribing to a fiber-based plan. This represents 483,000 subscribers-a 3 percent increase in volume over the previous year.

These encouraging numbers show considerable potential for FTTH adoption in the Netherlands, and the study found that telecoms are ramping up their installation processes to meet future demand. By 2017, approximately 3.5 million homes will be passed with FTTH, leading to a fairly strong penetration rate in the nation.

At this stage in the FTTH deployment cycle, a single telecom is dominating the move to the advanced network format. However, that may not last, as a wide range of service providers have begun to install new FTTH lines and more competition is emerging in the sector.

Dealing with the revenue issue
While a 33 percent subscription rate is, by no means, a poor level of adoption for FTTH, the statistic underpins the challenge that telecoms face when deploying FTTH - it does not always generate immediate revenue returns. This creates an environment in which telecoms have to focus on completing network installation processes as cost-efficiently as possible if they want to minimize losses and maximize gains when deploying FTTH systems. Fiber to Ethernet media converters can play a vital role in this process, as media converters can ease a variety of interoperability issues without putting an excess strain on the budget.

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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