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.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
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