Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Update: On the French FTTH rollout

TeleGeography Research has the most succinct summary of the newly announce French Telecom (FTT) FTTH plans:
Explaining the timing of the FTTH trial, FT said that while its existing copper-based DSL services were able to cope with existing demand for broadband access, in future fibre network alternatives would be needed to cope with increased access bandwidth requirements that will most likely render traditional technologies obsolete.
Om Malik, as always has an interesting analysis. A tidbit:
....this is an interesting development, given that France Telecom has always championed DSL. But now they feel that in the end fiber is better because the company wants to offer HDTV on multiple TVs, VoIP, online gaming and other services. ... it follows a similar path in Japan, where fiber is slowly spreading and gaining market share at DSL's expense. In the US, Verizon is using fiber to essentially replicate a cable TV infrastructure and layering some data on top of it. James Enck says German incumbent, Deutsche Telekom is planning to roll out a 50-city FTTC network as well. So far its been a DSL-driven broadband provider. I wonder if this could become an all familiar upgrade path: milk the copper as long as you can, and then switch to fiber?
Light Reading pushes a bit more information out there and calls on James Enck for an analysis of the competitive context wihin whch European fiber plans are placed. In part:

He notes that FT will be feeling the heat from Parisian FTTH startup CiteFibre , which is planning to provide triple play services across 100-Mbit/s connections, and from cable player Noos , which is conducting FTTH trials in the French capital.

Fiber is blooming across the world. Fast rollouts on this scale should produce whole new groups of proven and deployed (and hence inexpensive) hardware. It could work out well for Lafayette.

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