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Russia leading Europe's half-hearted charge to FTTH

By Max Burkhalter
February 28, 2013

I don't know about you, but when I picture Russia I still think about men with big beards wearing fur coats, ballerinas, gymnasts and some sort of imagined collage of cold war imagery. This isn't anything against Russia, I'm just a bit too much of a history buff for my own good and haven't paid much attention to the country's recent development. In fact, if I have to think more deeply about the country I tend to go right to domes and czars and mysticism. Well, Russia has surprised me. A recent study from the FTTH Council Europe found that Russia is clearly at the top of the FTTH food chain in Europe.

Russia dominating European FTTH market
The study said that while Russia was adding 2.2 million FTTH subscribers in the second half of 2012, the other 27 member states in the FTTH Council Europe were unable to keep pace.Russia now boasts 7.5 million connected homes.

The study also found that many Scandinavian nations are following Russia's lead. Head north and east in Europe and you could find the leaders for the future, asKarin Ahl, presidentof the FTTH Council Europe, said that the different between market leaders and laggards is widening while FTTH innovators gain a major economic advantage.

"Eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries have reinforced their position as fiber leaders, and the disparity between the early and late adopters is becoming even more apparent," said Ahl. "These FTTH leaders are gaining an economic advantage over their less well-connected neighbors. Good communications infrastructure helps to retain existing businesses and attract new ones. Fibered-up [sic] nations can make a head start on deploying new services like remote health care andsmart grid technologies."

Taking advantage of FTTH
Media converters and good intentions can only get countries so far when it comes to FTTH projects. Eventually, government bodies, telecoms and other industry stakeholders have to get together and solve issues. One major problem is distance. Nations with large rural areas can face major cost challenges when trying to get communities connected to FTTH. The United States is working to overcome this problem through government-subsidized, middle-mile networks, a strategy that is starting to pay dividends.

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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