Challenges in the Last Mile

Guitarte_Headshot Gilberto Guitarte June 10, 2016
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.

About the Author


Gilberto Guitarte

An Engineer since 1976, Gilberto Guitarte has spent 34 years with CommScope in several positions including Sales, Product Management, Project Management, and Business Development, in Argentina, Spain, Asia, and the USA where he is based now. He is presently serving as director for Broadband Connectivity in the Americas with focus in FTTH business development for the region.

Gilberto has now 27 years of experience in telecommunications, and is currently supporting carriers in all the Americas analyze optimal ways to turn fiber access networks from homes passed into homes connected using state of the art technology developed by CommScope.

His studies and involvement with international business got him speaking fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese, as well as business French and Italian. Gilberto became an active member of the Fiber To The Home Council in 2008, and is also a Certified Fiber Installer by the Electronics Technicians Association International, and a Master Instructor in the FTTH LATAM Chapter of the FTTH Council AMERICAS, where he served as the first Chairman for the Technology Committee followed by five years as the President of the organization, and presently is the Finance Chairman of the LATAM Chapter. He was awarded the FTTH Council AMERICAS “Photon” distinction in 2009 and 2012 for his dedicated efforts to establish FTTH in LATAM.