Rating: We just ain’t going to dig the roads up again
In a blinding flash, the reason why fibre to the home (FTTH) hasn’t taken off in the UK came to GoMobile News. It’s all about shared communal conduits (ducts). The theory doesn’t quite fit every user case but that normally means it’s valid because there are always exceptions to the rule. Fibre to the home is, of course, the arch rival to 4G/LTE. Sneaking behind the lines (metaphorically speaking), GoMobile News attended a briefing from the FTTH Council Europe. The organisation’s communications officer, Nadia Baba, described FTTH as a futureproof technology. So why is is virtually non-existent in the UK, whilst the whole country should be covered by 4G/LTE by about 2017? The answer is easy. In the UK we don’t have ducts so we have to keep on digging up the roads.The FTTH Council was releasing its latest figures on FTTH penetration on a global basis.
The slide which fascinated us most was the one showing which countries are the most advanced in installing FTTH.
The first two countries to reach critical mass with FTTH were South Korea and Japan but we reckon that’s just because those countries always want to appear on the bleeding edge, technically speaking.
But if you take a look at the implementation figures for FTTH in Europe, you can see a pattern emerging.
The countries which have all gone for FTTH in a big way all have basically cold climates.
So they install shared utility ducts since for half of the year, the ground is too frozen to be dug up.
So installing fibre is a piece of cake because you can use existing ducts.
This might explain why in Lithuania, 99 per cent of all housholds have FTTH.
Now the important point here is the parameter of households.
This has nothing to do with geographical coverage unlike cellular.
GoMobile News would be prepared to bet that that last one per cent of Lithuanian households aren’t Luddites. They are just too remote.
This theory works well because the European country with the highest implentation of FTTH is Andorra.
Isn’t that fairly Southern? Yup. But it is high up in the Pyrenees.
We’re struggling with Portugual having a high incidence of FTTH installations but this is a new theory, OK?
Anyway, the FTTH Council had to admit that the UK just ain’t going for FTTH. It won’t even reach critical mass before 2022.
GoMobile News asked if EE (Everything Everywhere’s) promise to offer superfast fibre as well as 4G might make a difference, but we were shot down in flames.
Reputedly, EE’s fibre is still going to be in the street not right into the home. So 4G will rule.
There’s an important difference between FTTH and 4G/LTE, too.
The European Commission wants 50 per cent of households in the EU to have a 100 Mbit/s connexion by 2020.
Baba says that 4G doesn’t really count because the connexion has to be synchronous. It’s the uplink speed that matters, not just the download speed.
There’s a size-does-matter joke in here somewhere …