Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Bandwidth hungry application drive fibre-to-home demand

Bandwidth-hungry applications and services are driving the demand for fibre-to-home infrastructure across Europe, market analyst Frost & Sullivan revealed today.

The report Fibre in the Last Mile in Europe, found that fibre-to-the-home deployments reached over 2.5 million homes in 2006 and estimates this to reach over 14.0 million in 2012.

“Video content, high bandwidth applications and convergence are driving broadband bandwidth requirements in Europe,” Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Fernando Elizalde said. “Several technologies are available to meet the delivery of bandwidth demand, of which fibre in the local loop, and in particular fibre-to-the-home, is future-proof.”

Several service providers across Europe have made commitments to deploy fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-home networks in the next three to five years as the availability of the gigabit passive optical networks technology has made such deployments more economically viable.

One limiting factor has been that digital subscriber technology (DSL), which uses existing copper access networks to deliver broadband, is well entrenched in Europe and lengthens the useful life of existing copper infrastructures.

High capital investment and local network characteristics pose restraints to a full fibre-to-the-home deployment across all countries, the analyst noted.

“DSL is the preferred technology to deliver broadband and other related services in Europe,” Elizalde added. “Local network conditions have been favourable to the deployment of this technology to deliver sufficient bandwidth to cope with user and application demands.”

The advent of high-definition video and other entertainment applications over broadband will easily outgrow the bandwidth capacity of DSL-based networks, and service providers will need to start looking at deploying fibre deeper into the network, even to the home or building, in order to be ready to meet future bandwidth requirements, the the analyst forecast.

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