MARSEILLE -- FTTH Conference 2017 -- So exactly how much would it cost to take fiber to the European Union's households? It depends who you ask. And everyone has a position to advance (or defend).
Having previously announced only weeks ago that it would cost €156 billion (US$167 billion), a presentation on behalf of the FTTH Council Europe here in the south of France offered up an updated that price tag, suggesting that the cost could be 12% lower, at €137 billion ($145.8 billion). (See Europe's Incredible Shrinking FTTH Price Tag.)
That's in sharp contrast to the recent study by the Boston Consulting Group on behalf of European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) , the industry organization for incumbent national telcos, that put the cost "to enable FTTH broadband for all European households" at €360 billion ($383 billion).
That's more than double the Council's number. And that's ridiculous.
Someone needs to knock some heads together. Clearly the Council is trying to pitch as low a figure as possible to make FTTH as attractive as possible (that's its job after all) and ETNO represents operators that (mostly) feel sick at the thought of the cost of digging fiber nationwide, so they want the number to sound out of reach.
Or is that number realistic?
Different studies will always come up with different numbers and have different methodologies but such wide variations do nothing to help the communications industry. This is not a trivial matter -- economic health is at stake here, in my view.
Ronan Kelly, the President of the FTTH Council Europe, says he wants to get everyone sitting down and talking about these issues. I support the sentiment -- investors and all the other parties that are (and should be) interested in the underlying digital infrastructure in Europe should be doing everything they can to get some core, usable data that's realistic.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading