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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003


SBC's CEO kisses off any intention of doing FTTP

Why are we not surprised?

Speaking to a Wall Street group, SBC CEO Whitacre said:

"As for the recent joint FTTP RFP, Whitacre estimates that the costs will probably be above $2,000 per home (equipment plus trenching). Due to this cost and to regulatory requirements to preserve some level of competitor access on these new lines, Whitacre said fiber-to-the-home is not in its plans, except in certain new deployments. Whitacre said he just "doesn't see the incentive for FTTP" and that even a drop of several hundred dollars in equipment prices would be unlikely to change his mind."

If a FTTP (fiber to the premises) developer doesn't offer a cable TV lineup, Whitacre's probably right. Municipal broadband utilities offer a full triple play and still make their numbers with just 40% penetration and similar (or lower) per home costs.

I sense the Bells have a collective reluctance to offer anymore than data and voice over broadband lines.

I hope Whitacre's comments don't reflect the thinking at Verizon and BellSouth as well.

Maybe the dinosaurs need a meteorite ...

The entire article is worth reading for Whitacre's comment on other telecom topics as well. Or go to SBC's web site and listen to the web cast.


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