Posted by: Costas Troulos | April 2, 2008

OECD Workshop on Fiber Investment and Policy Challenges

A very promising workshop is organized by OECD at Stavanger, Norway the 10th and 11th of April 2008.

[Excerpt from the Draft Programm]

The aim of the Workshop is to examine fibre investment across the OECD and look for best practices across a range of investment scenarios. After 100 years, the telecommunications industry is moving away from copper to fibre-based local loop networks. Fibre networks offer higher capacities than other telecommunications transport technologies and capacity is easy to expand once the fibre is in place simply by changing electronic components at both ends. Although there is general agreement that fibre local loop networks are important there is less agreement on the best architecture for these networks. Fibre investment choices concerning large metropolitan areas will be very different than those facing operators in rural and remote areas. Therefore, the workshop will also devote attention to investment in large, medium and small communities separately. In addition, the workshop will examine a number of technological and topological options such as FTTH/FTTN and Point-to-point/PON. Finally, the workshop will look at how regulations concerning fibre are evolving in OECD countries and how to ensure that these networks help promote effective competition.

Some operators in OECD countries are taking a more constrained approach to fibre rollout by installing fibre closer to users (often to the neighbourhood) but still relying on copper local loops to deliver the final connection. These fibre-to-the-curb or to the node connections can offer very high speeds by current standards but are more limited in bandwidth potential than fibre-to-the-home networks which are being built in many other OECD countries. Many of these fibre-to-the-home networks are in metropolitan areas since high densities reduce infrastructure costs on a per-subscriber basis. Cities, such as Amsterdam, Vienna, Reykjavik and Paris are all planning or rolling out FTTH networks. However, some of the key developments in fibre deployments have been away from the main city centres. The previous three years have seen a surge in the number of smaller communities investing in fibre-to-the-home infrastructure. Communities in the Netherlands and Northern Europe have shown strong interest in helping build fibre networks with similar activity in other areas of the OECD.


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