How to optimize FTTH Network to Save the Deployment Cost?

Fiber to the home installation is progressing in different parts of the world. Almost every day we hear news about some new FTTH project. It is interesting to look into the cost distribution of building a new FTTH in the case of a Greenfield.

Deploying fiber optic cables to new building projects and to homes are considered relatively easy as the actual field networking and ducting can be controlled well in advance according to the distribution of houses across the land. However detailed site surveys are required in order to avoid pitfalls. It is interesting to look into the cost distribution of fiber cable deployment to the Greenfield.

A proper understanding of the FTTH network configuration and good knowledge of the distribution of houses will help the network planner to design fiber distribution properly. Point to multipoint fiber optic network configurations is getting popular in order to reduce crowding of distribution cables at the central office splitter point. Ducting to individual houses in a Greenfield depends on the FTTH configuration that is going to be implemented.

An FTTH network design engineer has to understand the contribution of each element in the deployment like the cost of Fiber optic cables, cost of civil works, cost of fiber optic cable installation, cost of hardware, cost of active components, cost of other services, etc. The below graph is generated by using FTTH council Europe’s estimation of FTTH deployment cost distribution given in the FTTH handbook.

Greenfield FTTH deployment capital expenditure

As we can see from the graph, about 68% of the deployment cost goes to the share of civil works. Proper selection of routes and duct networking will help to reduce the cost of civil works to a considerable amount. This is where a network design engineer’s role in selecting the point to point or point to multipoint fiber optic network configuration comes into effectiveness. Intelligent planning of duct system can save a lot of money from 68%.

The cost of fiber optic cable is only about 6% of the total fiber optic network project cost. It may be an amazing fact for many of us but is true according to the facts. Reducing CAPEX is helpful to attract more FTTH projects worldwide. After civil works, the cost of active components ranks second in the cost contribution. The cost of active equipment is around 12%.

Proper use of existing ducts to deploy fiber optic cable can save big money if suitable cable solutions are available. Therefore it is necessary to survey the existing ducts and the condition of those ducts and tunnels before start designing for a new ducting system. Selecting proper vendors for the supply of active equipment will also help to reduce capital expenditure in FTTH to the Greenfield.

It may be worth to remember that cheaper is not always better!  Going for cheaper solutions will not help to build a good fiber optic network system. Quality comes with a cost. Buying that quality needs money also in turn.

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