Home fibre plans survive downturn
This week I read with interest the news from the FTTH (Fibre to the Home) Council Europe that there are now some 2 million people in Europe now have fibre broadband direct to their home. Karel Helsen, president of the FTTH Council in Europe discussed the news in an interview with the BBC with the above title. The report shows the top ten FTTH countries, with number having 2.4% of the total. However, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK aren't in the top ten and by deduction must each have around 2% or less of the total. The forecast for 2012 is 13 million people connected by fibre at speeds of 100Mbit/s. This is not a huge number, but then neither will be the number of home users needing such speeds that fibre provides. Next question: what's the population of Europe? Answer: well at least 400 million. So we're looking at penetration of well under 1% now. What about LTE though? The sorts of speed that LTE can achieve are not dissimilar from fibre. LTE is a serious competitor for fibre from an end user's perspective, with the added element of mobility included. Essentially, they are both addressing high speed users - it depends on user requirements and services offered. It's a similar situation to that between DSL and HSPA today. Mobile operators are addressing fixed broadband requirements of users who are maybe receiving sub optimal DSL because of distance or contention ratios.