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 new report produced in tandem with SCTE/ISBE, Heavy Reading spells out what cable operators are doing with fiber now, what they plan to do with it in the future and which challenges are the biggest.
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.
The MDU market continues to face fierce competition among service providers due to tech-savvy residents (i.e., millennials), demand from building owners and management companies, plus the favorable economics of bulk contracts. However, no MDUs are the same, so service providers must use multiple technologies and inconsistent deployment models, increasing operational complexity and rollout costs.
The MDU market itself is evolving as residents adopt smart-home technologies, generating rising demand for smart apartments with built-in connected thermostats, keyless entryways and doors, and video doorbells. This evolution presents both new challenges and opportunities. In other words, service providers must consider innovative service-delivery strategies to compete and win.
In this Broadband World News and ADTRAN webinar, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will highlight emerging MDU broadband Internet trends and challenges. In addition, Kurt will outline the next-generation service creation and delivery platform, built on open standards, that allows service providers to connect millions of underserved MDUs, enables creation of user-driven services, and reduces operational complexity and costs.
Plus, special guest, Alice Lawson, Broadband and Cable Program Manager for the City of Seattle, will discuss Seattle’s B4B-Build For Broadband initiative that addresses best practices in planning for MDU telecommunication infrastructure.