Fiber to the home (FTTH) may hold great promise with an unlimited bandwidth capacity, but a new report from Analysys Mason argues that service providers should take a conservative approach to last mile fiber and instead try to squeeze more out of their existing copper networks.
Analysys Mason points out that consumer's ongoing adoption of mobile services and devices will make it challenging for wireline operators to recoup their FTTH investments. In the near-term, the research firm suggests that service provider should continue to conduct FTTH trials, while leveraging hybrid copper/fiber technologies including VDSL2.
Of course, service providers remain divided on this issue. While AT&T (NYSE: T), Telekom Austria (NYSE: TKA), BT (NYSE: BT) and Qwest (NYSE: Q) are deploying a mix of both VDSL2 and FTTH, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has taken an all FTTH approach for its broadband future.
However, even within these two camps there are various shades of grey. While Telekom Austria and BT are keen on leveraging their existing copper with continued investments in ADSL2+ and VDSL2, they are simultaneously rolling out FTTH in both Greenfield and Brownfield markets. And while Verizon has been FTTH's lead advocate, the service provider earlier this year announced that it would focus its attention on either areas where it currently has its FTTH-based FiOS service or where it agreed to provide the service through a previously arranged franchise arrangement with a city or town.
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