Thursday, November 08, 2012
Using FTTH for economic gains
You hear it all the time from politicians, "If you let us spend money on this technology, it will create jobs and create a healthy economy." This rallying call to gain funding for important projects is not at all uncommon, and it's not like politicians are completely making things up. But if every claim that technology investments will spur the economy came true, well, the global economy may be in a much better place.
The question, however, is not whether it is worth spending money on technology, it is. Instead, it is how to ensure that technology investments deliver on their promises. This issue is especially prevalent in the fiber-to-the-home landscape, where many politicians have claimed that government FTTH projects would create economic growth.
FTTH as an economic catalyst
When the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was put into action, FTTH in rural regions was a focal point in the plan. Government-sponsored FTTH programs are also moving forward in New Zealand, Australia and a number of other countries around the world. Recently, Boris Ivanovic, chairman for Hyperoptic, recently told audiences at the London Loves Business conference that the United Kingdom would be well served by an expansive FTTH program instead of it's high-speed rail investment, FibreBroadband.co.uk reported.
According to the news source, Ivanovic told audiences that a large-scale FTTH investment would help turn the U.K. into a technological leader that can support more businesses and better corporate operations as a whole.
The report said that FTTH is also well established as a short-term job creator in the telecom sector.
These ideas are not uncommon. FTTH infrastructure accelerates data transit, making it easier for organizations to do business. When the advanced network is installed in rural areas or other underserved regions, like the majority of the United Kingdom, companies stand to gain substantially. But the results don't always pan out. How do governments and telecoms go about making FTTH projects work from an economic perspective?
Making FTTH an economic catalyst
Government subsidized FTTH installations are a good first step, but they do not lead directly to economic growth, in most cases, because they focus on middle-mile cabling backhaul. As a result, the first step to making FTTH work as an economic booster is to get local telecoms to buy into the idea and extend the network to homes and businesses. From there, telecoms have to convince companies to upgrade old connectivity options to fiber and FTTH has to be installed strategically.
FTTH can have a major positive impact on an economy, but the movement has to come from more than just the government for that to happen.
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