FTTH Council to FCC: That old copper has got to go

March 6, 2013
The Fiber to the Home Council Americas has filed comments with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which it urged the Commission to support the efforts of carriers such as Verizon to replace their copper infrastructures with fiber to the home (FTTH).

The Fiber to the Home Council Americas has filed comments with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which it urged the Commission to support the efforts of carriers such as Verizon to replace their copper infrastructures with fiber to the home (FTTH).

The practice by incumbents of removing copper plant and replacing it with fiber has come under attack by competitive providers who wish to use the legacy copper plant as unbundled infrastructure to provide services themselves. A group of these providers has petitioned the FCC to force the incumbents to leave this infrastructure in place.

However, the FTTH Council Americas asserts that such a ruling would impose an undue financial burden on incumbents, particularly given the operational expense (opex) savings FTTH infrastructure provide. Having to maintain two sets of infrastructure might deter incumbents and other owners of copper plant from switching to fiber, the Council fears.

"It is clear that fiber technology is superior, that consumer demand is increasing rapidly for higher-performance networks, and, as a result, wireline providers of all types are by necessity deploying fiber plant," the FTTH Council wrote in its comments. In fact, the Council asserts, few if any network operators are installing new copper plant.

"The Commission has demonstrated it understands the great value of having high-performance networks deployed throughout the country and the need for regulatory policies to align with this objective," the Council added. "Keeping copper lines in place after fiber is built imposes substantial additional costs on (local exchange carriers), materially harming the business case for fiber deployments.

"In sum, the technology of choice for wireline network providers - and for their customers - is fiber," the Council wrote. "And the real issue before policymakers is how to remove barriers and provide incentives to increase the pace of these deployments."

For more information on FTTx equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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