Telecom Timeout

May 24 2010   7:58PM GMT

FTTH: Knowing where the fiber is buried and following the money

Kate Gerwig Kate Gerwig Profile: Kate Gerwig

Talk to David Hashman about how to build out and finance fiber to the home (FTTH) and you know you’re talking to someone who has drawn the plans for the trenches, been in the trenches, and knows where the fiber is buried (couldn’t pass up a lame criminal organization joke). Even if you’re Verizon, fiber to the home is one tough business, with the added incentive of no guarantees when it comes to getting your investment back from customers who want to pay higher prices for walking toward the light of your services.

Let’s review. Verizon’ says FiOS is on track to pass 18 million homes by the end of 2010. The cost for that effort is $750 per customer to wire a neighborhood and another $600 to extend the fiber to an individual home. So with a per customer investment of $1,150 up front, Verizon FiOS has a 28% overall uptake rate. And its FTTH service can’t command higher prices because of DSL and cable competition.

How does FTTH work if you’re not Verizon? This week Hashman analyzes FTTH business models that might actually help the U.S. reach the FCC’s broadband goal of having 100 million homes with affordable access to to 100 Mbps of download speed. Hashman looks at the FTTH scenario for greenfield builds, government funding and municipal/private partnerships. Check out the numbers and the potential.

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