Thursday, February 28, 2008

FTTH Council Europe - Notes and advice from equipment manufacturers

I'm here at the FTTH Council Europe meetings in Paris and it has been great because there are all sorts of equipment operators who can answer my questions about the rollout. I've been here with my day job but was able to stop by vendor booths over lunch.
  • The opening session had the CEOs of Free, Neuf/Cegetel and Numericable in addition to the head of Orange's FTTH project. They discussed a lot of issues but at one point someone in the audience asked whether the operators were interested in connecting suburban areas with FTTH. The CEO of Neuf/Celegtel Michel PAULIN was honest and said, "We have no plans to go out there. It's not cost effective". I don't think the operators plan on coming anytime soon.
  • I ran into the CEO of a conduit company (GM PLAST) whom I had met in Iceland a few years ago. We talked for a minute about the project and he mentioned that they may have some conduit I could buy cheaply that they couldn't sell otherwise because it has the wrong printing on it, etc. That's good news considering I don't need much. In speaking with all the conduit providers, microconduit seems to run between EUR 2-5 per meter - depending on a range of factors. That helps give me an idea of costs.
  • I also spoke with Corning Cable Systems and they were very helpful about suggesting the most cost-effective way to rollout for my case. They said that microconduit is the best way to go and that I should connect everyone at the same time. They have solutions that allow operators to quickly add new subscribers but that's not what I'd need. After talking with them I see better how I should connect the fiber within the homes as well.
  • Iit seems as if France Telecom has now made an offers for access to ducts in the previous few weeks. I'll look that up and see if it could apply in our case given we have space in the ducts going through the residence.
  • On the other hand, there is an issue of getting OUT of the box in the driveways and into the homes. I spoke with Radius and they said that drilling out of the box to the house wouldn't be that difficult. That's also good news.
  • KPH talked about something interesting in NL about raising awareness for FTTH. They gave little little flags to people who signed up to put in their lawns. It raised awareness and allowed neighbors to ask why their neighbors hadn't signed up yet. We don't really have fronts lawns but it was an interesting idea.

It has been very interesting and helpful in my planning.


Zed said...

If you are paying more than 1 euro per meter for conduit you are getting reamed. Multiconduit should go for about 40 cents per miniduct per meter.

Tad said...

Thanks for the comment Zed on the prices. The stuff I had asked about was typically one larger conduit with multiple miniducts inside so I think that's probably why the prices were higher. Overall, I found the prices of the passive infrastructure weren't too bad at all. It's the digging that will cost the most.

That's one of the reasons it will be so important to see if we can use this existing conduit. The more money I can save in the local residence means the more money left to help fund the connection out of the residence to the exchange.