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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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Friday, March 19, 2004


The cable TV industry's assessment of FTTH

The March issue of CED -- a cable TV industry technical magazine -- has a long article on FTTH (fiber to the home) from the cable TV industry's viewpoint.

It's especially interesting to read that the maintenance costs for a hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network are 4 to 8 times those for a FTTH network.

The article states that FTTH systems remain more expensive than HFC systems -- that's true for cable TV companies but not for power utilities that have primarily aerial systems.

Because of the way that the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) is written, power utilities can bypass crowded communications regions on poles and install ADSS (all-dielectric self-supporting) cable in the power region of their poles and save substantially on construction costs. This eliminates the need to replace 5 to 10 crowded poles per mile at $3000 a pole. Because it's metallic, it's almost impossible for a utility safely to do the same trick using coax cable.

Cable TV companies don't have this option, so they'll be stuck with pole replacements and HFC systems for the foreseeable future.


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