As they seek to compete against major telcos like AT&T, Verizon and BT building out FTTH networks to offer gigabit broadband speeds, cable operators should increasingly be looking to go all-fiber themselves, or at least extend fiber deeper in their existing HFC networks.
That's the greatest takeaway from Broadband World News' recent reader poll about cable's next-gen tech priorities. In the poll, nearly 28% of our readers said they view "constructing new FTTH networks" as the top priority for cable providers this year.
Further, another 18% of poll respondents said cable's highest priority should be "extending fiber deeper into the access network." All told, this means that nearly half of our readers (or 46%) see adding more fiber as the most important move that cablecos could make in 2018.
To be sure, many readers think that "rolling out DOCSIS 3.1 and gigabit speeds" remains the main priority for cable operators, with slightly more than 24% of respondents choosing this option. But that figure represents a drop from the 27% who chose that option in a similar BBWN poll last spring, when DOCSIS 3.1 topped the scales along with Fiber Deep.
Surprisingly, less than 4% of poll respondents selected "implementing a Distributed Access Architecture approach" as the biggest priority for cable this year. That's down from more than 14% in last year's survey. But that could be because many cablecos have already started moving in the DAA direction with trials and pilot deployments. Or it could just be due to the relatively small survey sample of 87 respondents. (See Cable DAA Debuts Worldwide.)
In other notable results, more than 11% of respondents said "developing a competitive wireless service" should be the top goal for cable operators, up slightly from just under 10% in 2017. Some 8% picked "beginning to virtualize key network functions," down slightly from just under 10% last year.
Another 7% said cable operators should just "give up and get out of the business." But perhaps they just need more fiber in their backbones.
Don't forget to take BBWN's latest reader poll: "What is the biggest drain on your budget -- and, perhaps, customer experience?"
In a provocative new BBWN webinar, Broadband Success Partners' Jack Burton will delve into cable's next-gen HFC architecture plans and explain why going all-fiber may make more sense for operators right now.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.