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UK needs to get going on optical network deployment, FTTH Council warns

By Donna Donnawitz
May 9, 2012
Karin Ahl, the new president of the FTTH Council Europe, recently told ComputerWeekly that the United Kingdom has begun to slip behind the rest of Europe on fiber to the home deployment, creating a situation in which the nation needs to move quickly to implement new networks if it hopes to keep up with technological advances in other countries.

Ahl told the news source that the FTTH Council is shifting its focus away from regulating FTTH deployments to helping independent telecommunications companies understand the business benefits that the technology can deliver. This trend is especially evident in the current projects in the United Kingdom, as the FTTH Council has been working with a number of smaller independent telecommunications companies to help them advance optical projects to reach out to a more diverse range of markets.

Diversifying client bases is important in any FTTH deployment strategy, but especially in the United Kingdom, where the report said only two major telecoms are really dominating the FTTH market. However, Ahl explained that smaller telecoms have the potential to implement new infrastructure in secondary destinations where there are still plenty of customers wanting better internet connectivity, but not as much competition from the main telecom providers.

Understanding the business benefits of FTTH deployment and reaching out to secondary markets could be key to the United Kingdom's growth as a market for optical network deployment, as Ahl told ComputerWeekly that the nation is falling far behind its European competition.

"In Europe … we are seeing stable progress, although in countries in Eastern Europe and the likes of Norway, they are coming along really quickly," Ahl told the news source. "These countries [and others] have ambitious broadband plans, but the UK doesn’t have ambitious enough broadband plans."

While the United Kingdom works to establish more FTTH infrastructure, government involvement could be the solution. Government-sponsored FTTH plans have been successful around the world, as the United States and Sweden have both implemented large-scale FTTH plans that help telecoms deploy new networks. Australia has followed a similar strategy, which has included a guideline mandating that all new construction projects are accompanied by FTTH installation alongside utility deployments. This is expected to enable rapid FTTH deployment throughout the nation, bringing the technology to the majority of the population in a relatively short time.

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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