As billions of public and private dollars go into broadband projects over the next five years, there is only one solution capable of meeting existing and future needs using a single technology. This same solution provides substantial economic benefits to everyone along the deployment route.
That solution is Fiber.
“Fiber broadband provides the best value for public and private investment,” said John George, Senior Director, Solutions & Professional Services, OFS. “There's no other infrastructure that will do that… Fiber provides lower [operational costs], lower Total Cost of Ownership versus other options and adds value [for] subscribers, communities and service providers.”
Bandwidth demand has been growing at around 27 percent or more per year on both upstream and downstream sides with no signs of stopping. At the current rate of increase, factoring in continued growth due to the growth and adoption of technologies such as 8K video, augmented reality, and virtual reality, “a typical four person household in 2030 may need 1.5 Gbps down and 600 Mbps up by 2030,” George stated, and that’s before rolling in current work on in-home robotics solutions for assisted living.
“We can easily reach two gigabit symmetrical required for a household of four by 2030,” George said. “Remembering back to those of us who are from the 20th Century... We’ve seen a thousand-fold increase in bandwidth demand and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue going forward.”
Service providers building “greenfield” fiber projects today are proceeding directly to 10 Gbps symmetrical infrastructure because the price difference between 10 Gbps and 1 Gbps hardware is minimal while the higher speed effectively counters a range of competitive offerings based on legacy copper or upgraded cable. It also provides a solid, secure, and robust infrastructure for cellular 5G and 6G deployments and Smart Grid/Smart Cities implementations.
Fiber installed today has a lifespan measured in decades and is easily upgradable through electronics replacement to move past 10 Gbps into 25 Gbps and beyond, with consumer speeds of up to 100 Gbps already being piloted in Europe. Compared to alternatives such as cable, DSL, and fixed wireless, fiber can be anywhere from half (cable) to a quarter (wireless) of the yearly operational cost to operate and provides much better bandwidth performance, according to research conducted by RVA and CTC Technology and Energy. Other savings attributed to fiber include a reduction in customer churn, trouble tickets, and truck rolls necessary to resolve service issues.
And the value of fiber goes far beyond the service provider. Fiber adds anywhere between 3.3. to 3.6 percent to the sale of a condo or single-family home and increases MDU rentals by 8% percent. On a larger scale, fiber delivers significant economic benefits through direct means such as creating jobs and businesses, and derived benefits through the implementation of Smart Grid technologies for reducing electrical outages.
Listen to the full discussion with John George on the Fiber for Breakfast Podcast.