While fixed wireless access (FWA) is being promoted as an alternative to fixed connectivity, especially in areas where current legacy connectivity solutions offer sub-optimal bandwidth, the FTTH Council Europe emphasizes that FWA can only be a temporary solution.
The FTTH Council Europe believes that fibre is the best and most efficient and future-proof access network technology to address the needs of European citizens and businesses. In the years to come, bandwidth requirements and expectations will increase beyond 1 Gbps and FTTH is the only technological solution that can accommodate this without losing its advantage in terms of sustainability. Currently, the FWA thanks to 4G and 5G can offer connectivity speeds beyond those of some legacy solutions like ADSL. However, as FTTH infrastructure will easily scale up to higher, and symmetric, speeds of transmission, FWA solutions will struggle to keep up with the demand. A recent white paper by the FTTH Council details the technical reasons underpinning our position in favour of full fibre networks compared to FWA, which are speed, capacity, robustness, scalability, and sustainability.
The FTTH Council Europe strongly cautions policy-makers against the risk of creating, sooner or later, a new digital divide between the citizens and businesses who will have full access to the digital services of tomorrow and those who will not. The cost and ease of deployment in the short-term perspective should not be the defining criteria of comparative assessment. In the areas where the commercial viability of FTTH is not present for private investors, public authorities should contribute with public funds to the financing of FTTH networks. This is necessary to ensure that access to FTTH connectivity is possible for everyone, regardless of their location.