Challenges in the Last Mile

Service providers are racing to build fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) networks to meet growing subscriber demands. But several challenges lie ahead in the last mile, like speed of deployment, decisions on investments and availability in rural areas. Gilberto Guitarte explains these challenges in this blog post, and will present solutions during his presentation at the FTTH Connect Expo in Nashville on June 13.

FTTH_Connect_SmallAs more people wish for faster broadband service, quicker downloads and seamless streaming video, service providers race to build fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) networks to meet the growing demands. Naturally, these same service providers want to invest wisely while planning for even more demand in the coming years. Still, several challenges lie ahead in the last mile, like speed of deployment, decisions on investments and availability in rural areas.

Speed of deployment

It’s simple: new technology requires education and training. Many service providers have legacy copper infrastructures, and when those same service providers shift from copper to fiber – or move to use both – it’s a change in mindset and workforce. People need to be trained on the process and the products. The challenge lies in getting a new network deployed to compete with other service providers already ahead of the game.

Slow to invest

At times, service providers face the need to add more broadband capacity quickly, having unexpected increases in demand or simply not having had enough budget to deploy resources previously. Fiber can be expensive, and if it’s not needed right away, there aren’t many service providers jumping at the chance to invest. In the near term, many service provders prefer a short-term quick-fix for the problem, but those eat away at budget.

Rural areas

It’s no secret that rural areas need more bandwidth. The challenge lies in how to serve them. Companies that offer easy-to-install, reliable fiber element options are in a better position to support these challenges.

A solid passive optical network (PON) helps meet these challenges head on. It allows the central office to feed different niches (farms, residences, etc.) and assign different service profiles to each because everyone needs different levels of bandwidth. PONs are easy to install and reliable.

More to come

I’ll be presenting solutions to these last mile challenges and more at FTTH Connect in Nashville on Monday, June 13, at 12:45 p.m. I’ll address strategies and techniques for building more efficient FTTx networks in the last mile. Attendees will learn how to right-size their network designs and maximize their return on investment, and learn about methodologies for expanding the network over time. I hope to see you in Nashville.