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By carrying out a thorough analysis of FTTH market data and doing a deep dive into 8 selected countries, the FTTH Council Europe, in collaboration with Plum Consulting, has developed a series of recommendations of measures that both policymakers and industry executives will find useful when considering how to increase the FTTH adoption.
The FTTH Council Europe believes that competition drives investment and our regulatory positions are aimed at striking the right balance between supporting competition between all stakeholders and fostering a favourable environment for investors to play an active role in building future-proof fibre networks.
We are agnostic when it comes to FTTH Operators business models. The FTTH Council Europe’s mission is to advance ubiquitous full fibre-based connectivity to the whole of Europe. This goal can be achieved via different business models such as traditional vertically integrated telecos or challenger operators & wholesale-only operators.
While we understand and fully respect the principle of technology neutrality, the recent adoption of the EECC and of the European Green deal questions this principle. We believe that consideration should be given to changing relevant public policies away from a technology neutral stance to one that is clearly full fibre positive.
Mandating use of full-fibre networks is the most straightforward way to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality. High speed, reliable broadband connectivity is an essential utility and it is clear that full-fibre requires the lowest energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions while enabling the best reliability and scalability.
We strongly support all measures aimed at facilitating and incentivising the deployment of full-fibre networks by reducing their costs and administrative burden linked to network roll-out (e.g. permit granting etc), or by facilitating synergies in deployments.
Previously fixed and mobile networks have been deployed separately but convergence now shows FTTH and 5G networks are two sides of the same coin. We encourage a converged approach that can bring significant cost reductions.
We welcome State Aid which is funding full fibre networks in areas where there is no business case for private investments.
The fate of the legacy copper network is a key element in the fibre investment case. What is at stake is the planning of copper extension as it does not make sense (for financial and environmental reasons) to keep the legacy copper network alive and to run a fibre network in parallel.
We believe that misusing the word “fibre” in advertisement confuses end-users’ choices, reduces the attractiveness of the fibre brand and works against public objectives to generalise access to full fibre connectivity.
While fixed wireless access (FWA) can be deployed as a temporary solution in areas where end users do not yet benefit from Very High Capacity Networks, it cannot be recognised as a permanent alternative to FTTH which is the most sustainable and future-proof technology. In the mid- and long-term perspective, FWA would inevitably struggle to live up to the demand, thus creating a new digital divide.
During the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023, the ITU will review the use of the radio-frequency spectrum. In view of the preparation of the EU’s position for the conference, the FTTH Council Europe favours license-exempt use of 6GHz upper band.
The FTTH Council Europe sees positive elements in the draft revised State Aid Guidelines, notably in the area of vouchers as there is an expectation that as the availability of connectivity reaches critical mass (and the FTTH Council’s own research sees 85%-90% availability across the EU in the next five years), resources and attention will shift much more to take-up and adoption than supply side measures.
 According to the FTTH Council Europe’s latest Market Forecasts 2021-2026 available here
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