Costs for a Fiber-based EU Gigabit Society are Significant, but Achievable

  • FTTH Council Europe
MARSEILLE, FRANCE — The outstanding costs of full fiber coverage in the EU are $165 billion, according to the first results of FTTH Council Europe's updated study on the cost of deploying FTTH throughout the EU as input to the ongoing legislative debate on the proposal for a European Electronic Communications Code.

The cost model calculated the complete overlay of the EU28 countries with fiber (fiber to the home) including 100 percent homes passed and 50 percent connected. The $165 billion cost accounts for the already existing fiber coverage and connections. The re-use of existing infrastructure and effective implementation of the Cost Reduction Directive can lead to further 12 percent cost savings and could further bring down these costs to $145 billion. The 12 percent cost reduction can be achieved by reusing existing infrastructure, more co-ordination and sharing of civil works and the re-use of in-building infrastructure.

Making Informed Technology Decisions
FTTH Council Europe calls for a transparent and realistic discussion on the costs and the definition of technology neutrality so that the co-legislators, end-users and investors can make informed decisions knowing the real costs of a fiber-based Gigabit Society.

"These cost estimates show that fiber requires considerable investment but is doable throughout Europe. In this context we should be careful not to misinterpret technology neutrality turning a blind eye on what different technologies can deliver. Europe needs very high capacity, fiber-based networks to meet the needs of a digital economy and society," said Erzsebet Fitori, director general of the FTTH Council Europe.

Ronan Kelly, president of the FTTH Council Europe, added, "Fiber-based infrastructure is the only future-proof foundation enabling fixed and wireless gigabit networks as well as all new innovative digital technologies and services and the prerequisite for Europe’s global digital competitiveness and sustainability. Our vision is that fiber connectivity will transform and enhance the way we live, do business and interact, connecting everyone and everything, everywhere."

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