Alcatel-Lucent questions FTTP goal, NZ next?

CommsDay reports Alcatel-Lucent global fixed networks president Federico Guillen says his customers no longer see fibre-to-the-home as the broadband end goal. He says recent technological advancements mean the focus is shifted to vectoring.

There’s a context to Guillen’s comments. He was speaking at the CommsDay NBN: Rebooted conference in Sydney. The conference is looking at how Australia’s plans for a national broadband network will alter following this year’s change of government. The Coalition government has long been critical of the Australia Labor Party’s commitment to a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network.

Guillen says: “Now it is about the [service] you provide to the enduser; it doesn’t matter if you provide FTTP, what matters is that you provide 50Mbps, 70Mbps or 100Mbps – that’s what the end user wants. And you need to do it more effectively”.

Alcatel-Lucent now talks of “fibre-to-the-most-economical point”.

It will be interesting to see if Alcatel-Lucent repeats this message in New Zealand. The company is a Telecom NZ network infrastructure partner,  it’s best-known project was the the XT rollout which ran into teething troubles.

The company also works with Chorus and is involved in the Gigatown promotion. Alcatel-Lucent’s ng Connect open innovation program has commited to a $200k development fund for the winning Gigatown.

However the company missed out on New Zealand’s big FTTP project: Ultrafast Broadband. It’s rival  Ericsson won substantial UFB contracts from Chorus and from Whangarei’s Northpower. Meanwhile Huawei got the business from central North Island’s Ultrafast Fibre and Enable in Christchurch. Huawei also has some of Chorus’s RBI business.

With question marks now hanging over Chorus’s ability to finance the full UFB build and other UFB builders said to be facing similar financial problems, is anyone game enough to put a high profile Alcatel-Lucent speaker on a New Zealand stage to explain why building the FTTP UFB network might not be the best strategy?

3 thoughts on “Alcatel-Lucent questions FTTP goal, NZ next?

  1. I’m off this planet if UFB doesn’t get finished. Nothing to do here.
    I could be selfish and say ‘well, they laid the cables to me so what happens now doesn’t concern me’ but it concerns everyone. How far behind the times would we be without DSL? Without Dial-Up? If NZ-based services, or even foreign services looking to deliver to NZ can’t get the pipes they need we’re gonna get left behind, and these days that doesn’t just mean we can’t watch Youtube.

  2. Vectoring may have a problem in NZ. It requires a single DSLAM on each cable, i.e. LLU would no longer be possible.
    With changes vectoring could work, i.e. a change to make Chorus a full monopoly on copper from the cabinet, repealing the SLU as well as SLES regulation. Chorus cabinet cables can only have a single DSLAM connected to them for vectoring to work.
    Of course Vectoring is especially good for the DSLAM supplier, they get a secure supply especially if they sign up a long contract.

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