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New FTTH project highlights value of technology to communities

By Donna Donnawitz
August 16, 2013

Fiber-to-the-home networks represent a vital tool in economic development and long-term municipal planning. If a town has an FTTH network in place, it can often entice more businesses to function there, improve the quality of life for residents, support better capabilities for public sector organizations and prepare itself for the future. In many cases, this has contribute to urban and suburban areas gaining an edge over rural regions in information-focused industries.

Some projects, like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, have already begun working to create more balance in economies and by supporting FTTH deployment in rural regions. However, there are still plenty of rural communities around the world that are still waiting on fiber.

Residents of the Ards Peninsula in Northern Ireland are working to change this. A recent Telecompaper report explained that a community initiative is being developed to deploy fiber in the region. This includes possibly using local farmers and other residents to help dig cable trenches.

Why do rural communities value fiber so much?
Many regions already featuring FTTH networks have become frustrating for telecoms because consumers have shown some hesitance to actually subscribe to the network. This could point to some lack of interest in the performance enabled by FTTH. However, a closer analysis indicates something that is promising for FTTH projects in rural locations, particularly areas that are underdeveloped in regard to telecommunications.

Many experts believe that telecom customers will rarely pay more for faster speeds when they are fairly satisfied with the performance of their existing solution. Instead, most consumers will wait until prices drop for the exciting technology and access it later. This means that many areas where quality broadband is already widely available at a low price end up with relatively low FTTH subscriber rates because consumers do not switch over from their current services. However, the volume of potential customers still makes these attractive areas to build.

Rural regions, conversely, often lack the population density to justify a large-scale FTTH project. The issues is that they also tend to not have access to the high-quality broadband services that are common in other regions. As a result, many rural communities end up putting significant value on FTTH investment because it gives them access to the kind of network performance needed to keep up with contemporary business demands and support many common consumer services.

While FTTH demand is often high in rural areas, building networks must be done inexpensively to avoid revenue limitations. This makes cost-efficient media converters a vital component of rural FTTH installation.

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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