Fibre broadband popularity increasing worldwide, research shows

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Fibre broadband popularity increasing worldwide, research shows

Fibre broadband networks are continuing to grow in popularity worldwide, recent research from Ovum reveals.

As of the end of last year, there were nearly 29 million fibre broadband subscribers worldwide. Ovum predicts that this figure will grow to 100 million, or 16 percent of all broadband users, by 2012.

The majority of fibre broadband connections are point-to-point [P2P], meaning a single fibre connects subscribers with the head-office.

But Passive Optical Networks [PON], where fibre runs from head-office to a splitting cabinet, and users' homes are connected to the station, are becoming more common.

Splitting cabinets usually operate on a ratio of 1x32, meaning 32 homes can be connected to one cabinet. But new technology is being developed that will allow ratios of 1x64 or even 1x128.

Ovum analyst David Kennedy believes that PON will replace P2P in popularity by 2012.

“Enterprises seem to prefer P2P while PON is more economical for mass consumer markets," he says.

"P2P is more popular now because investment is still focused on the lucrative business market, but PON will expand as operators start rolling out FTTH to households."

"Both will grow in the future, but as a mass market technology, PON will grow faster in the long run,” Kennedy says.

Kennedy believes the situation will be quite similar when Australia migrates to fibre.

“The Australian roll-out will depend on the winner's view of demand,” he says, “but we will probably see a mixture of PON in the household and P2P in business areas.”

The fastest growing regions for PON sales are predicted to be Western Europe and North America.

According to Ovum, while China and India are among the fastest growing fibre markets overall, the popularity of large apartment blocks capable of operating dedicated DSLAMs in these regions means P2P architecture is more suitable.
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