China sets FTTH mandate for new homes

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Friday issued a mandate that any new home built in areas where a fiber network is available will have a fiber-based broadband connection.

Under the MIIT's new rules, which go into effect this April, the FTTH networks will be built in an open access fashion where residents will be able to choose what service provider and products they want to buy.

The Chinese government has set a goal of connecting 40 million families to a FTTH network by 2015.

These fiber broadband drives could also help grow the country's overall Internet user base to 800 million by 2015.

Already the country's telcos, including China Telecom (NYSE: CHA) and China Unicom, are aggressively rolling out their own FTTH networks. China Unicom added 10 million families to its FTTH project in 2012, while China Telecom set a goal to bring FTTH services to 1 million subscribers by the end of 2012 to reach a total of 2.3 million subscribers.

Besides the telcos, utilities could also play a part in China's FTTH drive.

According to a recent Ovum report, utilities like State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) could use the PON networks for two purposes: powering their smart grids and offering FTTH services to consumers and businesses. The research firm forecasts this trend will be a $1.5 to $2 billion opportunity for PON component and equipment vendors.

For more:
- China Daily has this article

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