Global Broadband - Fibre Based Access Backgrounder


Archived report. Optical fibre development first started in the 1970s, with the first large-scale commercial use occurring in the late 1980s. By the 1990s fibre networks were beginning to be taken seriously and in the early 2000s a few daring telcos in the United States and Asia started Fibre-to-the Node (FttN) projects, but in most situations the last few metres were stilled planned to be twisted-copper pair.

The dramatic reduction in the cost of fibre deployment in recent years made the technology cost-effective compared to xDSL and cable alternatives, both of which provide only a fraction of the speed of FttH networks. The cost balance is beginning to favour fibre and improved technologies and deployment methods; as well as regulatory measures which encourage or enforce shared access has allowed fibre to become a viable broadband infrastructure.

BuddeComm has been following and advising upon broadband development for many years. The following report is an historical backgrounder on some of the issues surrounding fibre deployment and includes some our key analyses written on this topic which is still relevant. It explores such as issues as regulating fibre; drivers or fibre access and broad FttH business models.

Key developments:

The challenge for carriers is managing this totally new infrastructure; Countries with effective and strong regulatory policies are forging ahead with a lively fibre footprint. When regulators get the issue between their teeth and act; the fibre sector moves ahead because operators are no longer put off by regulatory uncertainty.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Backgrounder - Fibre-based access
    • 2.1 Early trials – brief overview
    • 2.2 Massive changes in network management required
    • 2.3 Low hanging FttH fruit
    • 2.4 Consumer benefits to low-cost fibre
    • 2.5 Enterprises not driving FttH
  • 3. Fibre-to-the-X: the economics of last-mile fibre
    • 3.1 Introducing fibre ‘x’
    • 3.2 Getting fibre closer to the home
    • 3.3 Incremental versus sunk costs
    • 3.4 Utilization is key
    • 3.5 Topology versus technology
    • 3.6 Fibre options
    • 3.7 Unbundling
    • 3.8 Upgrading the architecture
    • 3.9 Path dependencies
    • 3.10 Example of FttH deployment costs
  • 4. Regulating fibre: a global issue
    • 4.1 Regulating copper networks – a lesson
    • 4.2 Networks under strain
    • 4.3 The stronger case for fibre
  • 5. FttH drivers
    • 5.1 National economy drivers
    • 5.2 Social drivers
    • 5.3 Entertainment drivers
    • 5.4 Business drivers
    • 5.5 Network capacity drivers
    • 5.6 No E-Government without fibre
    • 5.7 ‘Go with the flow’ strategies
  • 6. FttH business models
    • 6.1 Vertically Integrated model
    • 6.2 Open network model
    • 6.3 Structural separation a must for FttH
  • 7. Conclusion: Cable TV networks – like the fast steam trains?
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – AT&T’s backbone capacity statistics – 2009
  • Exhibit 1 – Broadband – infrastructure blueprint
  • Exhibit 2 – Examples of estimated costs of fibre deployment in the USA - 2010

Related Reports

Purchase this Report


Licence Information

Focus Report Profile


Broadband Fixed
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)

Number of pages 17

Status Archived

Last updated 4 May 2012
Update History

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Share this Report

Purchase with Confidence

Moreover, the customer service personnel at BuddeComm helped me remedy an administrative problem within 5 minutes of sending the request...seriously, less than 5 minutes. All in all, is a well-functioning organization with a useful product.

Eli Jellenc, VeriSign-iDefense Security Intelligence Services

Special Offers

Caribbean - Telecoms, Mobile, and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
US$795.00 until 30 Oct 2019
(normal price US$1,590.00)

Venezuela - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
US$575.00 until 30 Oct 2019
(normal price US$1,150.00)

Sample Reports

A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.

Download a Sample Report

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.