Technology choice

Our position

While the FTTH Council Europe understands and fully respects the principle of technology neutrality followed by policy makers and regulators, 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.  

There are a number of different network technologies that can be deployed to deliver services over very high-capacity networks today, however full-fibre  offers benefits and advantages immediately and over the long term. Several studies1,2 compared the sustainability aspect (energy consumption and CO2 emissions) of traditional copper or coaxial cable-based technologies with full fibre networks at different speeds and capacity rates. It was found that FTTH technologies are more sustainable than FTTC networks in every scenario and for almost every capacity rate and that they are more favourable in terms of power consumption. But lower power consumption is only one of the many other technical benefits of fibre.

Fibre allows for higher symmetrical speed and capacity and better latency. The above-mentioned studies also revealed that FTTH networks are far more reliable than copper-based alternatives as the absence of active equipment in the outside plant of FTTH networks eliminates the possibility of service disruptions due to power outages or active equipment failure. As a result, more reliable network requires fewer field support staff and less travel to network locations to carry out maintenance/repairs, which drastically reduces maintenance-costs. A recent white paper from the FTTH Council Europe details the reasons underpinning our position in favour of full-fibre compared to alternative broadband technologies. 

Finally it is worth mentioning new technologies such as micro-ducts which minimise civil works. These alternative deployment measures are significantly less invasive to the environment and also results in lower maintenance costs as the fibre networks remain under the ground, hence less susceptible to weather conditions.

[1] Full fibre network is to be understood as FTTH (Fibre to the Home), FTTB (Fibre to the Building), FTTO (Fibre to the Office), FTTA (Fibre to the Antenna)

[2] Study conducted by Prof. Dr. -Ing. Kristof Obermann from the University of Applied Sciences (Technische Hochschule) Mittelhessen from BREKO in May 2020

Study conducted by Prof. Dr. Ing Stephan Breide, Sebastian Helleberg M. Eng i.Hs FH for Prysmian in December 2017

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