Rushing to fibre can bring headaches
While fibre is the holy grail for many, there is a degree of whiplash from some consumers in the United States where Verizon is rolling out its fibre to the home service - FiOS. To read what people are worried about visit the Florida Consumer Viewpoint blog.
The things that we need to be aware of in the rush to having a fibre based infrastructure for the last mile of connectivity to the home are things such as:
- Lack of access to cheap/free ADSL bundles. In the US a Verizon DSL plan can cost as little as $15 a month, whereas FiOS starts at $30 a month.
- Not all services such as burglar alarm/security monitoring services may be available initially
- Length of time the battery back up works during a power cut
- Requirement for power to run the fibre terminating hardware
None of these problems are insurmountable, but in the US it seems Verizon is not giving those who sign-up to FIOS the option of retaining their existing copper based telephone line, and due to the fact that Verizon is not required to offer equal access to other providers, people are locked into using Verizon.
In the UK if the BT group rolls out a fibre based service they are likely to be required to ensure access is available via a range of communications providers. If a competitor to BT were to roll-out a fibre based infrastructure then it is likely no such requirement would be placed upon them and with the rise of gated communities, we may see lock ins to certain communications providers.