The FTTH Council Europe, hoping to accelerate and expand the continent's adoption of ultra-broadband technologies that support digital infrastructure, cautioned European leaders about the dangers of lowering standards or investment.
While FTTH Council Europe participants obviously have a vested interest in widespread European deployment of fiber, the non-profit organization expounded on the unarguable financial and competitive benefits the digital transformation will deliver. And without ubiquitous fiber, these benefits won't be available, the letter said.
"Fiber-based infrastructure is the only future-proof foundation enabling fixed and wireless Giga-networks (e.g. 5G)," wrote Ronan Kelly, president of FTTH Council Europe and CTO EMEA and APAC regions at ADTRAN. "It is also the enabler of a plethora of new, innovative technologies and services and the prerequisite for Europe’s global digital competitiveness and sustainability."
In a cost-modeling study conducted earlier this year, the organization estimated Europe must spend €137 billion (about $154 billion) between today and 2025 on fiber networks -- but the region lags other continents, especially the United States, which outspends Europe 3:1, Kelly wrote. (See What Is Europe's Real FTTH Price Tag?)
"We are concerned to see the continuous weakening of the investment incentives put at the heart of the original EECC proposal," he said on behalf of the organization. "FTTH networks can deploy quickly if appropriate policy and regulatory measures are in place that encourage both new and existing operators to invest in new network infrastructures."
In its most recent State of the Internet report, seven of the ten countries with the top speeds were in Europe -- including Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Switzerland, Latvia, Finland and Denmark. But widespread adoption of ultra-broadband remained low: Only 44.7% of Norwegians, for example, had speeds of more than 15 Mbit/s or higher and 34% of Finns could attain those speeds, the report found. (See US: We're on the Road to Gigabit.)
Likewise, it's critical for the EECC to aim high, abiding by its current definition of very high capacity, the letter said. In 2016, the EECC determined "all European households, rural or urban, should have access to connectivity offering a download speed of at least 100 Mbps, which can be upgraded to Gbps," said Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Union, in his state of the union address last year.
Europe can attain digital transformation if it aims for high-speed ultra-broadband and incentivizes competition for investment by new and established network investors, Kelly added. New business models, such as wholesale only, along with decreased regulation also will accelerate deployment, he noted.
While Tier 1 carriers make up the vast majority of those deploying fiber to North American homes, other provider types are making their mark, RVA's study for Fiber Broadband Association finds.
Tier One ILECs primary providers for fiber deployment surge to North American homes, but
The FCC's unscientific measures under-represent the number of Americans without broadband, making it imperative for the public and private sectors to work together on bridging the digital divide, says Microsoft President Brand Smith.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on Thursday, November 1 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. UK as Ronan Kelly, CTO, EMEA & APAC Regions at ADTRAN, explores the five pillars of network integrity -- a topic he discussed during his recent Broadband World Forum keynote. Register now!