FTTH Handbook – Fifth Edition

The fifth edition of the FTTH Handbook, unveiled at the FTTH Conference 2012 in Munich earlier this year, has been extensively revised, and contains several important new chapters. But even though the Council's Deployment & Operations Committee has packed even more technical information into the Handbook, the total number of pages has not increased, so that the reader is not overwhelmed with information.

The new chapter on network planning describes the complete process of preparing to deploy the FTTH network, from the early strategic decisions about where to roll out the network and what kind of architecture will be used, to the creation of detailed network plans that the engineers and installers will work with during the deployment process.

The chapter on in-building cabling explains the technical details and general considerations relating to the installation between the building entry point and the wall socket where the customer connects to fibre, using a reference model based on international standards.

This year the FTTH Handbook has also been translated into German. Printed copies were distributed at the FTTH Conference in Munich, but if you missed out, then please download it from our website.

Read the FTTH Handbook on the Wiki >

Download the FTTH Handbook in English >

Download the FTTH Handbook in German >

BT nearly doubles Infinity fiber speeds

BT has nearly doubled the speed of its Infinity-2 fiber broadband service to up to 76 Mbps for free – but only if existing customers agree to a contract extension.

The company will also provide upload speeds of up to 19 Mbps on the plan, served by its FTTC technology. The previous peak downlink speed was 38 Mbps.

The lower-tier Infinity-1 plan will have a new peak speed of up to 38 Mbps, and an uplink of up to 9.5Mbps.

But BT confirmed to The Register that existing customers will have to agree to a new 12 or 18 month contract in order to take advantage of the upgraded speeds.

A BT spokesperson told the site that the speed boost requires a “regrade” from the company.

BT passes around 7 million premises in Britain with its Infinity network, and the company aims to increase that to 10 million this year. The company has committed £2.5 billion (€3.03 billion) to fiber upgrades.

BT rival Virgin Media provides up to 100Mbps services to 13 million homes, and plans to increase this top speed to 120Mbps

Deutsche Telekom to bring FTTH to apartment complexes

Deutsche Telekom (XETRA: DTE.DE) has begun construction on a Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project serving housing association Deutsche Annington Immobilien in Bochum.

When the first phase of the new FTTH network is completed in 2013, it will serve about 42,000 apartments in North Rhine-Westphalia with 200 Mbps data rates. A total of 171,000 apartments that are part of the housing association in 600 locations throughout Germany will be able to take advantage of the fiber network.

Thus far, Deutsche Telekom has been taking a phased approach with its FTTH deployment, having installed 160,000 households in 12 cities in 2011 with plans to roll out the service to another nine cities this year.

North American FTTH connections up 13%, says FTTH Council

A new study from the Fiber to the Home Council Americas indicates that the number of North American households connected directly into optical fiber networks grew by 13 percent over the past year. The study, which covers the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, indicates that FTTH reached approximately 900,000 new households since April 2011, which pushes the total number of FTTH homes in North American homes past 8 million.

FTTH services are now available to 19.3 million homes in North America according to the study, which RVA LLC conducted on behalf of the council.

The United States represents by far the greatest portion of the total, about 95 percent. However, the pace in other countries has begun to pick up, the study indicates. Canadian accounts for 3 percent of FTTH connections, with the remaining 2 percent split between Mexico and the Caribbean.

Despite signs that it has slowed its expansion, Verizon remains the continent’s largest FTTH services provider by a wide margin. However, in a sign of the technology’s growing popularity, the number of FTTH network operators in North America is nearing 1,000, the study reveals. Many of these are small and medium-sized incumbent telephone companies, most located in rural and small town areas. Other FTTH participants include competitive broadband companies, municipalities and public electric utilities. With these smaller operators factored in, the majority of FTTH service providers serve fewer than 10,000 subscribers.

Several of these operators have benefited from broadband stimulus money. The RVA survey indicates that, on average, FTTH stimulus projects are 38 percent complete, with indications that many will start connecting subscribers this year. Environmental reviews and heavy demand for fiber optic cable were cited as reasons for the delays.

“The pure numbers of FTTH providers and their diversity is something that is uniquely North American. No other region of the world is seeing this,” said Michael Render, President of RVA.

Meanwhile, 58 percent of FTTH providers reported seeing increased local economic activity as a result of FTTH availability.

“The notion that the upgrade to FTTH can be a catalyst for economic development is precisely what is driving this enormous interest in high-speed fiber we are seeing at the community level across North America,” said Heather Burnett Gold, who recently was named president of the FTTH Council Americas. Civic leaders in communities of all sizes have a sense that more bandwidth means more opportunities for economic progress.

“These latest numbers underscore that phenomenon in two ways – they show that smaller telecoms are continuing to upgrade to FTTH and that many are indeed seeing a positive economic impact in their communities after they deploy,” she added.

The survey also found growing activity among FTTH providers in fiber to the cell tower. There were more than 1500 towers connected by small, single-state providers in 2011.