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FTTH Council Europe conference aims to bring end to FTTPr
Thursday 17 January 2013 16:43:18 by Andrew Ferguson

The FTTH Council Europe acts as a body independent of telecoms regulators and the various incumbent telco's around Europe and exists with the simple aim to promote the building and use of full fibre to the home and premises networks. The 10th annual conference is coming to the ExCel London on 19-21st February and we have a 20% discount code that can be used for those wanting to attend the conference and associated exhibition.

We met up with Hartwig Tauber, Director General of the FTTH Council Europe to find out some more about the conference and find out why the UK has been picked as the location for the conference.

One of the key points to come out of the interview was that the UK and other European countries need to be wary of falling into a FTTPr trap - which is we need to be careful to avoid Fibre to the Press Release. A common complaint from consumers from the UK and across Europe is that consumers and politicians are mislead by the wealth of press releases promoting fibre products, when in reality they are only slightly more fibre rich than the previous product e.g. cable broadband (FTTN) has mysteriously morphed into fibre broadband when in reality it is still a metal cable to the premises and while FTTC services are rolling out quickly they still do not offer the symmetry and future proof nature that a full fibre to the home roll-out will. To many of our visitors this will not be news, but hopefully the presence of the conference may help to raise awareness in the wider press and public.

"We need to make the decisions now to have everything in place for 2015. I don't think national and local banks or investment vehicles get the picture. One example in Germany had a local investment bank that has took on the roll of aggregator so they brought together five or six fibre broadband projects and then merged them into one big one. This makes the projects big enough for investors and got money from the European Investment bank and other investors."

Hartwig Tauber, FTTH Council Europe on beyond 2015

The above snippet from our meeting sums up very neatly the UK position, in that to date attracting investors in FTTH has been difficult, but projects are starting to find the situation changing with FTTH projects now being approached as long term investment and the conference will cover this area in some detail, exploring the various models used across Europe and help to explain to potential investors that FTTH investment is not just about faster internet access for the digitally addicted but about ensuring a village, town, city, region or nation has the infrastructure to compete on the world stage.

From previous fibre and broadband events the focus has often been on the technical or regulatory environment, this conference seeks to expand this exciting clique to include those people and groups such as large pension investment groups who can finance large projects or help the many existing small community projects in the UK expand to grow and provide true world leading 21st century levels of connectivity.


Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Is it a common complaint? In the UK
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
What happens in 2015? By then will there be many parts of the UK not covered by VM, FTTC, FOD, BDUK funding and C&W etc.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
In 2015 there is the £300m of further funding that becomes available via TV Licence, but no firm plans announced yet as to how it will be spent, and with a General Election in 2015 things may all change.
Posted by lyncol over 4 years ago
You just have to look at the TV ad for BT Infinity, all those bright fibre strands of light coming down into our homes……… it must be the light reflecting of the copper pairs!
Fibre to the cabinet…copper to the home!

It’s time for a re- think, was FTTC the right move, should it continue when the hurdle is still the last mile of copper?
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Last mile? Last 500m in most peoples cases.

The ASA don't think its time for a re-think, people lodged complaints about Virgin (who started the trend) branding their service as fibre and they let is pass and people lodged complaints about BT (and the rest) using the same term again the ASA let it pass.

Which I why I asked is this a common complaint, is it common for Virgin and BT fibre customers to get hooked up and the customer says "What??? I thought it was real fibre to my house, I'm going to complain"
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
Quote "the FTTH Council Europe acts as a body independent of telecoms regulators and the various incumbent telcos".

Alterntively you could say the FTTH Council Europe is the trade body for FTTH equipment manufactureers. This may colour its views on FTTC vs FTTP!
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
I was speaking to someone from the FTTH 'Council' and they really don't understand FTTC in the UK.

They are just a trade body, could be called The Society of Fibre Manufacturers and Traders, like the SMMT for the motor industry.
Posted by ahockings over 4 years ago
Full Fibre rollout is the only way. Otherwise it's just a mish mash. Don't know about 500M, Fibre to my cabinet is about 2Km, copper to my house is about 5.2Km!!!
Don't even know if VDSL will work at that length. I'd only get about 4 meg if it did. get 1.6 ADSL2 now. Brilliant!
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
ahockings, unfortuntely for you, you are in a minority. I can't remember the exact figures but it is something like 90%+ are within 1km of their cab, with something like 70% of those within 500m, they aren't the exact figures but you get the idea.
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
The ASA have possibly damaged long term prospects, because from an investor's point of view if FTTC can be advertised as FTTP, why invest in FTTP?
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Why? Speed, reliability, in the long term costs less to maintain, plenty of reasons

Your average joe won't give a fig about what the physical media is, only about speed, download caps, traffic shaping etc etc
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Also... what investors? :)
Posted by hugop over 4 years ago
GMAN99, I would be happy to talk to you about investors. FTTP projects with the right profile and strategy are as appealing as any other tech investment. Look at the German example Hartwig gives and then look at Cotswolds Broadband ( to see a UK full-fibre project with prospects.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Its not me you need to talk to :)

It looks like Costwold is in early stages, I think the main problem is that ROI is very long term with fibre which coupled with our current financial crisis is not a good mix
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
So a quick look at the prospectus and it looks like they are aiming to double peoples money in 4 yrs or there about.

For me before investing I'd be asking, where else has this been done in the UK and did it work, also how well have other altnet's done and have to date.

Anyway... I doubt advertising FTTC as fibre will have any impact on their investors
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