Businesses across Latin America join to launch FTTH Council chapter

APRIL 24, 2009 -- The effort reflects that the regional market is poised for growth in next-generation broadband, says the council.

APRIL 24, 2009 -- A diverse group of telecom service providers, high-tech manufacturers, and other enterprises from across Latin America has banded together to form a regional chapter of the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council (search Lightwave for FTTH Council), with the aim of promoting the deployment of next-generation, high-bandwidth Internet, voice, and video services to residences throughout the region.

The launch of the Latin American FTTH Council chapter comes after six months of organization and planning by regional representatives and members of the FTTH Council North America, culminating in a meeting earlier this month in São Paulo that attracted 14 major sponsors and more than 100 representatives from telecom companies across the continent.

Fiber to the home is rapidly replacing older, copper-based networks in many Asian and European countries, as well as in the United States. The FTTH Council estimates that there are already more than 28 million households worldwide that are connected with end-to-end fiber, enabling many times the bandwidth typically provided over networks that currently rely on DSL or cable modem.

"We have been delighted with the response to our efforts to organize this Latin American chapter of the FTTH Council. We see it as evidence that this market is poised for strong growth in fiber to the home in the near term," says Nelson Saito of Furukawa, Brazil, who was elected chairman of the Latin American chapter. "Clearly there is enormous interest among our regional telecom providers in making the jump from copper to end-to-end fiber, both to provide their customers with the latest broadband technology and for 'futureproofing' their networks."

During the second day of the São Paulo meeting, a group of 35 individuals set down to work organizing the new chapter, staffing it, creating an operating structure, and planning member recruitment and growth. They established committees on finance, technology, marketing, and regulatory matters, as well as the relationship between the local chapter and the FTTH Council North America.

Saito says the new chapter will focus on a range of tasks in the early stages, including educating the market about FTTH, promoting market development, becoming a resource for information about FTTH, and promoting positive regulatory frameworks and building business cases in multiple countries.

"At the same time, we want to work with governments and financial institutions to help them understand the enormous development dividends that FTTH deployment can bring to Latin America," explains Saito. "We believe that a new future for our region can be built with high-bandwidth fiber. And we now have a platform for leadership and innovation to make that happen."

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