The FTTH Council Europe participated in a conference organised on 21 March by the European Parliament’s Long-term Investment Intergroup, focusing on “The digital revolution: How to finance network infrastructures?”. President of the FTTH Council Europe Edgar Aker spoke in the panel on “High Speed internet to everywhere for everyone, but how?”, bringing insights on investment on and deployment of FTTH networks.
Aker said that the FTTH Council Europe sees three key characteristics to the countries that have achieved very widespread FTTH network deployments, such as Portugal, Spain, Sweden and France.
“Firstly, they have put a strong emphasis on FTTH as an objective. Those administrations have a clear target and seek to achieve it,” he said.
“Secondly, creating appropriate incentives for all operators to invest is key. A completely equal access regime that is based on virtual remedies with a guaranteed margin, effectively proposes that nobody will compete on network differentiation or seek a first mover advantage based on network investments. In those markets with the best investment performance, virtual access remedies on FTTH were either not available or were greatly curtailed.”
Aker’s third and final component was that each country mentioned has ensured that the cost of deployment is minimised through the sharing of expensive passive infrastructure components and avoided duplication of those passive network elements. Good duct, trenching and in-building wiring access regimes are important enablers of investment.
Commenting on the business case in rural areas, Aker added, “the FTTH Council Europe believes in competition, but in rural areas only a single, open fibre network is possible. Also in rural areas public intervention will often be required, in order to avoid a digital divide where urban citizens will have access to much more high-performing networks that rural communities. The path ahead is becoming clearer; what is required now is a clear political message that we need to move to FTTH.”
The FTTH Council Europe is an industry organisation with a mission to accelerate the availability of fibre-based, ultra-high-speed access networks to consumers and businesses. The Council promotes this technology because it will deliver a flow of new services that enhance the quality of life, contribute to a better environment and increase economic competitiveness. The FTTH Council Europe consists of 150 member companies.
By Optical Connections News Team