Telcos see 20% operational savings with all-fiber networks, says FTTH Council

Upgrading their last-mile networks to fiber to the home helped small- and medium-sized telcos see an average operational cost savings of 20.4 percent annually, a new FTTH Council Americas report said.

Respondents said one of the main things that helped drive down costs was that the FTTH networks were less expensive to repair and maintain than the existing copper networks.

FTTH opex savings among carriers

Source: FTTH Progress in North America, April 2, 2013. Courtesy RVA LLC & FTTH Council

While FTTH is far from ubiquitous, a survey of over 350 North American service providers conducted by RVA LLC said the number of homes that can access FTTH networks has increased 17.6 percent over 2012 to 22.7 million.

Homes connected to a FTTH network have increased over 20 percent since April 2012 to a total of 9.7 million.

Even though the majority of the FTTH connections in North America have been driven by Verizon (NYSE: VZ) in the United States and Bell Aliant (Toronto: BA-UN.TO) in Canada, RVA found that there are almost 600 small- and medium-sized telephone companies that have upgraded part of their subscriber base to all-fiber. Also, 100 municipalities like EPB Fiber in Chattanooga, Tenn., have deployed FTTH networks as a public utility.

In addition to delivering 100 Mbps services, a number of FTTH players, including Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) in Kansas City and EPB are delivering 1 Gbps connections to homes and businesses.

Through the efforts of Bell Aliant, which has set a goal to bring FTTH to 800,000 homes and businesses in its territory, Canada's FTTH market is growing. At the end of December 2012, Bell Aliant had a total of 112,000 FibreOP FTTH Internet customers. In total, more than 540,000 homes are connected to a FTTH network, up from 100,000 in 2010, in Canada.

Besides bringing FTTH to Brownfield markets or those that have already have existing copper facilities deployed, the survey showed that there was new FTTH activity in planned Greenfield housing developments.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: The Contenders: wireline companies challenging the status quo and poised for success

Related articles:
Smaller telcos lead FTTH charge with 9M U.S. homes connected
Bell Aliant Q4 revenues decline to $696 million as IPTV, Internet gains offset legacy losses
Verizon FiOS lifts wireline consumer revenues to $14 billion in 2012