Also in this roundup: CityFibre adds four more ISPs to its network; Openreach weans Salisbury off copper; West Virginia gets 'first-of-its-kind' broadband map.
A new report from FTTH Council Europe is optimistic about full-fiber rollout in Europe. According to the research, conducted in partnership with analyst firm IDATE, the number of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and fiber-to-the-business (FTTB) locations passed and subscribers are set to surge between 2020 and 2026. The report puts current FTTH/B subscribers in Europe and the UK at 49 million for 2020 and estimates that will grow to 148 million by 2026; with the number of homes passed at 105 million for 2020 and projected to nearly double to 202 million by 2026. In terms of copper switch-off, the report credits Estonia and Sweden for making progress this year; but it says switch-off has been slow in Spain and Portugal despite high FTTH/B penetration levels. The report also calls out benefits to switching off copper and moving to full fiber, including that fiber networks cause 88% less greenhouse gas emissions per Gigabit compared to legacy technologies. (See FTTH/B in Europe? Massive growth surge on its way report.)
Speaking of cutting ties with copper, Openreach announced that customers in the city of Salisbury can no longer buy copper-based broadband. Salisbury has been one of Openreach's pilot cities for its full fiber program, and now, it seems, it's time to commit. In a press release, the company said that for customers who want to "upgrade, regrade or switch their broadband or telephone provider using the Openreach network, they'll only be able to order ultra-reliable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP or Full Fibre) broadband technology, giving them ultrafast download speeds of up to 1Gbps through a great selection of retailers." Sending Salisbury's copper off to its death, James Tappenden, Openreach's Fibre First Director, said: "The traditional landline has served us well for generations, but it can't go on indefinitely – and by December 2025 it will have reached the end of its life. By September 2023 Openreach will stop selling copper-based products nationally in preparation for withdrawal at the end of 2025."
CityFibre welcomed four new ISPs to its fiber network this week, including Air Broadband, HighNet, Triangle Networks and Trunk Networks. In a press release, the company said that Air Broadband will offer initial service in Cambridge, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft. HighNet will launch in Inverness before expanding in Scotland. Triangle Networks will launch in Milton Keynes; and Trunk Networks will debut services in Eastbourne and Worthing. "Each has committed to acquiring significant volumes of new customers in towns and cities across CityFibre's networks and all are currently mobilising in preparation for imminent consumer launches," said CityFibre. Zen Internet, another recently announced ISP joining CityFibre's network, will launch in Newcastle upon Tyne and Worthing, where the first customers will go live in January; with Ipswich and Leicester to be launched later in 2021.
Over in the US, state lawmakers in West Virginia, Del. Daniel Linville (R-Cabell) and Sen. Robert Plymale (D-Wayne), unveiled a new statewide broadband Internet availability map, intended to allow legislators to identify areas unserved and underserved by broadband and direct efforts their way. The map was created using hundreds of thousands of speed tests taken by West Virginians since early this year. "Previous broadband availability maps such as those provided by the FCC relied on information from carriers and used the speeds they were advertising in an area, not the speeds actually received by consumers," said Linville in a press statement. "Our first-of-its-kind map instead uses actual speed data from consumers, and the result is now the most accurate, detailed map of where broadband is and is not in the state of West Virginia." According to stats from BroadbandNow, West Virginia ranks 44th in the US for connectivity. West Virginians who haven't done so are encouraged to take the speed test to help improve the map's accuracy here.
Todays access network architecture is under mounting pressure due to a continued surge in the number of connected devices, a proliferation of bandwidth-intensive customer applications and dramatic shifts in usage patterns related to the pandemic, such as work-from-home and e-learning.
Learn why now is the right time for cable operators to build greenfield networks or expand their existing networks with 10G PON, arming customers with high-speed symmetrical broadband. Gain a clear understanding of the drivers impacting the access network and the various approaches being considered to deliver higher speed services. Plus, find out the best practices that operators are employing as they leverage the latest in passive optical technology to future-proof their networks.
Topics to be covered include:
Node + 0 (Fiber Deep)
DOCSIS 3.1, DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX/ESD)
FTTP and 10G PON
Provisioning 10G PON within a DOCSIS B/OSS environment