Structural separation and open networks: the way forward?
Cost remains the biggest challenge for anyone deploying FTTH. Sharing a network can help, and providing an open platform may create an innovative business environment. Australias National Broadband Network is one example that will be examined closely as it emerges. The government targets serving 90 per cent of its population notwithstanding the fact that it is more geographically dispersed than Japan and South Korea, thereby making fiber deployment expensive. Furthermore, it is challenged with building a cooperative relationship with Telstra, the incumbent telecoms operator.
Nonetheless, the government appears intent on building one FTTH network. The current proposal is that the network operator can only offer wholesale services. Competition is proposed for providers to deliver services above layer 2, presenting what appears to be a favorable situation for end-user service providers. Over the next few years the market will closely watch how margins are managed so that services are cost competitive for end users.
The writer is an Ovum analyst.
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