Ofcom Shuns Fibre To The Home (FTTH)
By: MarkJ - 10 February, 2007 (9:26 AM)

Speaking at the Communications Management Association (CMA) annual conference earlier in the week, Ofcom appeared to shun FTTH services as a solution to slow rural broadband services:

Fibre-optic networks deliver far higher bandwidth to customers than DSL can. Because DSL speeds decline with distance from the telephone exchange, rural businesses currently face inferior broadband service, if they can get it at all.

But Ofcom remains less than convinced. Delivering a keynote speech at the CMA's annual conference on Wednesday, the regulator's chairman, Lord Currie said: "For customers who live too far from an exchange, technically this is a problem that could be solved by fibre. But the services are not yet defined, the technology is not yet stable, and so it is too early for a regulatory approach. The case for digging up the road is a rather weak one."

When challenged by conference delegates, Currie admitted there might be a case for deploying fibre as far as street cabinets, but stood by his opinions over fibre being laid as far as individual homes and businesses.

The news follows research from the CMA, which found that 41% of businesses are unable to get broadband where they need it. It also follows early trials by BT of similar technology, although they too have debunked the notion of national FTTH. Still, it's not as if many ISP's could afford the investment needed to adopt it anyway.

Unfortunately that means we have to play the waiting game again, but sooner or later operators will face problems as their new content services increasingly run up against the limits of existing technologies. Meanwhile cable rivals have the opportunity to steal a march or two on BT. More @ ZDNet.


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