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Monday, 26 January 2009

Socio-economic impact of FTTH

There is an awful lot to look forward to at the FTTH Council Conference in Copenhagen in a few weeks time, but one of the highlights for me has to be the evidence promised in the new report from the Council and Ovum.

As I wrote in my open letter to Stephen Carter,

*The social capital must be weighed up with the capex and opex when assessing the financial viability of fibre. *

It looks as though this report may well provide enough data to finally do that, at which point surely FTTH becomes even more of a no-brainer?

This is what the "teaser" email says for anyone who has not received it:

The results and full report of a groundbreaking study into the socio-economic impact of European FTTH deployments, undertaken in conjunction with analyst firm Ovum, will be unveiled by the FTTH Council Europe at its annual conference in Copenhagen next month. The study has been carried out using a wide range of metrics that determine relative ‘prosperity’ and its correlation to FTTH deployments at the local/regional level.

In summary, the study will deliver definitive results to the following questions:

- Which socio-economic benefits does FTTH engender, and to what extent?

- How does FTTH change the way in which subscribers use telecommunications services?

- Does adopting FTTH increase customer satisfaction in broadband services?

“Advocates for FTTH frequently use the hypothesis that it enhances social inclusion and positively impacts the social and economic welfare of its consumers, and this study is designed to substantiate that claim once and for all,” explained Joeri Van Bogaert, President of the FTTH Council Europe. “This is one of the exciting new developments most keenly anticipated by our delegates who are looking forward to learning the results at next month’s conference.”

The study will test the presence of quality of life improvements among FTTH subscribers by using a large range of metrics (from levels of computer literacy to distributions of income/wealth), and validating these further via consumer interviews and surveys in order to provide accurate social commentary. The study will further apply detailed comparative analysis with areas not currently served by next-generation fibre broadband services. Full details of the study’s methodology and findings will be disclosed at next month’s annual conference.

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