Considered the fastest form of broadband, fibre optic technology promises to be the future-proof way to deliver faster Internet and communications services over the next several decades. However, the one obstacle that could impede fibre’s growth worldwide is the reluctance of digital and communication services providers to overhaul their existing infrastructure.
There is little doubt that fibre is the way of the future – it enables larger data capacity and consistent data transmission over longer distances. A 2013 study from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) found that fibre broadband delivers actual download speeds that are 117 percent of advertised speeds.30 By comparison, digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable services deliver only 84 and 99 percent of advertised speeds, respectively.
Fibre also experiences the lowest decrease in speed during peak hours and offers the lowest latency of all broadband technologies. As a result, digital and communications service providers that offer fibre broadband services stand to benefit from a competitive advantage and a potentially fruitful revenue opportunity.
Despite all of these clear advantages, fibre deployments still rank behind DSL and cable worldwide. Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows fibre accounts for 16.7 percent of broadband subscriptions in OECD regions, which covers North America, Europe, Australia, Japan, and other regions in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Comparatively, DSL and cable account for 51 percent and 31 percent of subscriptions, respectively.
Fibre is gaining ground though, in part because of public and private initiatives to increase the technology’s penetration in a variety of countries. Mexico’s fibre broadband subscriptions grew by an incredible 300 percent in 2013, according to OECD, while the technology is used by 69.9 percent of subscribers in Japan. France, Spain, Turkey and the UK are also adding fibre subscriptions at a rapid pace.
One such public / private project is New Zealand’s ambitious Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative. Launched in 2009, it seeks to deliver fibre-optic broadband to 75 percent of New Zealand residents by 2020.32 The project operates on an aggressive deployment timeline, one which required operator Chorus to rethink how it deployed fibre-optic technology if it hoped to avoid the pitfalls of costly rip-and-replace infrastructure overhauls and benefit from the key competitive advantages fibre can offer.
By embracing an “intelligent evolution” of its fulfilment technology, Chorus was able to roll out fibre to more than 830,000 homes in the country in just one year. Here’s how the communications service provider did it.
“BY EMBRACING AN ORCHESTRATION FRAMEWORK THAT MASTERS THE FLOWS NEEDED TO EFFICIENTLY ROLL OUT FIBRE AND THAT ENABLES SERVICE AGILITY AND OPERATIONAL FLEXIBILITY, CHORUS NEW ZEALAND HAS POSITIONED ITSELF AS A LEADER IN A BURGEONING NEW MARKET.“