Copper or Fiber… is that the Question?

An Environmental Perspective

As recent as last week, Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News wrote about the trade offs of copper vs. fiber to the home.  In this case it was mostly from an environmental perspective.  This was in response to a report done by the firm Carbon Smart titled “Our Digital Infrastructure Needn’t Cost the Earth”.

New Development….Fiber!

As ASSIA commented in the article it is not whether one installs copper vs. fiber in a new neighborhood.  Clearly most would agree that installing fiber is the best choice for long term bandwidth needs and is a cleaner alternative to mining and installing copper from an environmental perspective.  In summary….new development….go Fiber!

Existing Development….Not so fast! (no pun intended)

Here we have to consider the sunk financial and environment costs vs. incremental costs.  Digging up the street, families’ yards and walls is clearly more disruptive and expensive than continuing to leverage the copper lines already in place.  Fortunately cable and DSL technologies have continued to progress allowing service providers to keep up with the demands of their customer’s bandwidth needs.  In some cases this might be all copper and in other cases a hybrid of copper and optical.

It’s no lie, I can multiply!

It all about the math. As a consumer we want fast internet, but we are only willing to pay so much for it.  In fact, we want to pay less for it.  Look at the trend with content…. we want the content for free or close to it with over the top.  Unfortunately, as demonstrated by some of the failed initiatives for an all fiber networks, the math does not work out.  The cost of ripping up the streets to replace copper with fiber can’t be justified in most cases.

Full Toolbox

Service providers use a toolbox approach for designing the most appropriate broadband solutions for customers’ needs, Alison Diana, editor of Broadband World News told ASSIA.

“Sometimes that does mean all fiber. Sometimes it doesn’t. Tossing out the option of VDSL and G.fast solely on the basis of one pro-environmental consulting firm’s whitepaper seems foolhardy and does not put the customer’s needs first. Operators often turn to G.fast, for example, to meet the high-speed broadband needs of people who live in apartments and historic homes, which cannot have holes bored into them – in part because they’re historic, in part because they’re possibly full of hazardous materials like asbestos,” said Diana, who’s Light Reading publication is focused on fixed broadband.

So what does any of this have to do with ASSIA?

Actually, everything!  ASSIA’s suite of vendor agnostic software platform’s help bring reliable high-performance internet to our homes whether on copper or fiber.  This keeps customer satisfaction high while driving down service provider costs….and the consumers costs down.

What’s wrong with fast, reliable, low cost internet?

Answer (spelt backwards):      gnihtoN