Wednesday, July 2, 2008

FTTH Milestone Reached

More optical fiber than cable modem high-speed connections turned up globally in the first quarter of 2008, say reserchers at Point Topic. That's the first time this has happened, Point Topic says.

While there were 2.5 million cable broadband subscribers added worldwide in the first three months of 2008, fiber connections grew by over 4.2 million net users.

“It’s a significant milestone for fiber optic broadband, where it is available consumers will take fiber over other broadband technologies,” says Oliver Johnson, Point Topic CEO.

“If you look at the cost per megabit then DSL comes in at around $20 per megabit per month taking global averages," says Johnson. "Cable does better at roughly $12 but they are both completely eclipsed by fiber where costs can get as low as 50 cents per megabit per month."

While there are sizeable variations from country to country, region to region and operator to operator, a rule of thumb is that DSL can cost the consumer more than 15 times as much as fiber to get a megabit of bandwidth and cable is seven times as expensive.

Of course, it's no surprise that the cost per megabit is lower with fiber than with any other access technology. Fiber's big advantage is bandwidth. All other things (overhead, construction, cabling cost, operations, maintenance) being roughly equal, fiber just supplies more bandwidth than a copper, coaxial cable or wireless access connection.

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