FTTH Archives — LIRNEasia

There is no guarantee that companies always bet right, but I’d place weight on their wagers more than on those of armchair theorists who are still arguing for FTTH as the only solution. Ask Google why they want a big, Nexus 6 size phone, and the answer is ready: “We are moving from mobile first to a mobile only world.” The next wave of growth for the smartphone industry will come from emerging nations in Asia-Pacific, especially from India, China and Indonesia. In these nations, smartphones will be the only computer for a majority of the population, so, the industry must gear up to accommodate this new breed. At Google’s annual Asia-Pacific press event in Taipei this week, the search and advertising giant which seems to be nurturing increasing ambitions of becoming a device player, concentrated on this mobile first world.
From where I stand there is little doubt that the access network will be wireless, except perhaps in high-density housing in cities. But we have so many people going on about the necessity of fiber to the home, even from within government. But I never hear them talk about the need to liberalize the permission process for trenching in city streets. “One of the biggest issues within the market today is the movement of bandwidth – there are no routes available for fibre and companies in the business are really doing their own thing. In Cape Town there is a law now which dictates that trenches can only be opened once, and this is very difficult for a competing business.

Wire or wireless?

Posted on July 31, 2011  /  0 Comments

One of the principal rationales for the creation of LIRNE.NET in 2000, and then LIRNEasia in 2004, was to counter the tendency to transplant policy and regulatory thinking unchanged from the developed market economies into the developing world. But that never meant that we should ignore theoretical developments and policy/regulatory innovations just because they emerged in the developed market economies. It is my firm belief that theory is universal. But the application of abstract theory to concrete circumstances must always involve deep interrogation of local context and will almost always requires adaptation and innovation.

Does FTTH really worth a subsidy?

Posted on December 5, 2010  /  1 Comments

Governments are subsidizing millions and billions of dollars for the deployment of fiber up to the home, aka, FTTH. Such subsidies are based on the premise that fiber to the home brings substantial externalities. But Charles Kenny and his brother Robert Kenny claim that basic broadband has contributed significantly to economic growth is decidedly mixed, and points to low returns for (expensive) superfast upgrades.  They think fiber to the businesses and government outfits make more sense than FTTH. The Kenny brothers accuse that the benefits of fiber have been considerably overstated while the other infrastructure remains ignored.