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Cable/Video

Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism

Demand for fiber to the home (FTTH) is on the rise and will be a key driver of optical access techniques such as PON (passive optical networking), according to two reports published this week.

One of the reports, published today on Light Reading’s Service Provider Circle, describes how PONs, which extend bandwidth by splitting a wavelength with passive components, will enable carriers to respond to a growing demand for high-bandwidth services to residential subscribers -- services that can only be offered on fiber. (For the full report, see: Optical Access).

However, the report goes on to say that PON deployments won’t happen overnight. They've been stalled by the many incumbent carriers that probably won’t move until there are sufficient revenues in sight to justify the investment in PON gear. And those revenues won't be forthcoming until applications that exceed the limits of DSL are in demand. That makes for a tough economic case.

One firm cited in the Light Reading report, Technology Futures Inc., says most residential users can sustain their Internet, voice, and video services with 1.5 Mbit/s to 6 Mbit/s of bandwidth, typically from independent telcos and alternative providers. It could take three years or more for demand to rise to 24 Mbit/s, the amount required to run combined interactive video and related applications.

But other sources say the tide may be turning faster than that. In a study released at the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council’s conference in New Orleans this week, a market research firm with the blood-curdling name of Render Vanderslice & Associates says FTTH connectivity in the U.S. is growing at triple-digit rates and is forecast to expand to more than 14 times its present size by 2004 (see Study: FTTH Set to Explode).

While RBOCs and leading cable MSOs (multiservice operators) wait in the wings, developers of large housing projects, municipalities, carriers associated with public utilities, and small, independent service providers are undertaking ambitious fiber buildouts and offering services to go with them.

Indeed, the firm says its research shows that 60 percent of all FTTH homes have access to a “triple play” service that includes video, voice, and data in the form of Internet access. And experiments are underway for interactive gaming and other applications that can tap the fiber now being extended to residences.

Many of these services are, and will continue to be, enabled by PONs. “PON will play a significant role in early deployments,” says Michael Render, president and principal of the Render Vanderslice. Render says the role of PON isn’t written in stone for the future, although it’s expected to play a role in FTTH, perhaps in conjunction with other fiber-based access techniques, such as fiber equipment with active splitters.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com
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FiberGuy 12/4/2012 | 9:32:57 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism In my opinion, setting up a pure fiber network from the ULH down to Metro will always be the best solution. However, for access I think wireless will be the future. As wireless technologies are getting better and better (already as fast as dial-up lines) I am sure this will be the trend.

Japan has already taken a huge leap in this direction and some European countries are taking a good look as well.

What are your thoughts on this? Anyone have ideas on cost differential?
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 9:32:56 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism Do they really have data for 2004? Or is this
the same kind of 'exponential curve' projection that got us into the overbuilding mess in the first place?

I would only believe these numbers for Japan and Korea, where the government is pushing (and helping pay for) the development of multi-gig to the home.
opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 9:32:55 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism Did I say multigig? Now I am being overly optimistic. I meant multi-meg.
FiberGuy 12/4/2012 | 9:32:55 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism They are still around. However, with no new contract wins announced and some of the founders leaving, what are we to think?
John Honovich 12/4/2012 | 9:32:55 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism What's going on with Alloptic?

Are they still around?
photonsu 12/4/2012 | 9:32:54 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism The only thing that can revitalize the market is a national program for FTTH. If NASA has value, FTTH will pay-off 100 fold more at least.

Why should it be done?

By 2006 (or is it 2004) TV is to go HDTV. That means when the alarm goes off in the morning, most homes will begin to suck on an 18 to 22 Mbit straw, for just one HDTV.

In my office my IP phone terminates into the back of my PC. So why not real-time videophone?

I have an HDTV. If I had FTTH, I'd want videophone to my HDTV so I can see my grandkids more often. They will want it too because they can more effectively plead with grandma and grandpa for the next neatest toy on the block.

I also am interested in the possibilities of using video archives to access on-demand (or nearly so) old shows from the past. For example, this past year I was able to obtain videos of the 1950's Bell Telephone Series narrarated by Dr. Baxter. "All About Time", a program about genetics whose name escapes me now, "Hemo the Magnificent", etc. It was quite interesting to see how far we have come since then, and how much knowledge we had then, but without the sophistocated tools. Anyway, I prefer watching this kind of stuff rather than "I Love Lucy" reruns.

So bring it on! Give me broadband access to MIT and the like. I am ready for a new and enlightened world brought to me over glass, and I'll pay for it. As a worker in the FO industry, I'd pay more as insurance of a job. From what I've read, there are about 200K+ unemployed fiberoptic folks out there that would do the same if they had the option.
MrLight 12/4/2012 | 9:32:53 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism FiberGuy, check out the post on "Hakish on Telecom" Re: Competition is the Key - Wi-Fi vs FFTC

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...

there are more..

MrLight :)
dietaryfiber 12/4/2012 | 9:32:52 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism
It basically says that 50% of the new homes built in 2003 will be cabled with fiber. Since there is no retrofit, then about 750K homes (of the about 1.5M homes) built in 2003 will be served with FTTH in 04. Seems pretty unlikely given that there are no products approved in any of the major carrier at this point and that unbundling would still have to be worked out.

dietary fiber
whyiswhy 12/4/2012 | 9:32:51 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism Hey, I would be all for FTTH, as long as I did not have to pay for it. But (I hope) you know that is not logical.

Besides, there is already a broadband connection to 95% of the homes in the US already: it's called coax, aka cable.

LR, just answer one simple question:

Why in the freakin' world would anyone in their right business mind conclude they can make a go of FTTH when the existing cable can't?

Are you honestly trying to say FTTH has better apps, content, branding, homes passed, plant, services ...what?

I will grant you fiber to the business (FTTB). It's being pushed by AT&T leveraging their UNE-P privledges. The objective here is to skim the lucrative spots in the revenue stream.

= Bigggest accounts.

Not homes.

Sorry.

Try again.

JMHO

-Whyiswhy
dave77777 12/4/2012 | 9:32:49 PM
re: Home-Fiber Crowd Flush With Optimism I have to agree with posters below, the business case is not close to being there yet. As for gov't sponsorship... hey, communism failed guys.

Eventually, FTTH will happen, carrying HDTV, Internet, & phone on one cost-effective fiber line. Just makes too much sense not to. Right now tho, cable companies are still trying to make this work for coax, and cablephone isn't even a rumor to most people (altho it is growing). Who's going to finance building another, twice-redundant, very expensive communication system? And if the gov't builds it, what happens to the cable and phone companies? I'd say ten years at the earliest before you see more than 10% penetration into homes. Fiber infrastructure has to get cheaper, consumers have to consume more bandwidth.

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