ADSL2+, HDTV don’t mix, researcher says

Telecom operators intending to launch IPTV and triple play services may find ADSL2+ lacking, according to a new report.

The report, “Fibre in the Last Mile: the business case for FTTP and VDSL,” from telecom, IT and media adviser Analysys, evaluates the realistic deployment options for each of the DSL and fiber-based technologies likely to be used in Western Europe.

According to report co-author Martin Scott, real-world speeds of DSL technologies can be up to 40 percent lower at source than their theoretical maximum. ADSL2+ “does not leave a lot of reliable bandwidth to play with over and above one HDTV stream,” he said. As a result, operators should look to VDSL2 and fiber.

Among the report’s findings are:

  • VDSL technologies are the most financially sound option in Western European countries, though payback will take at least six years.
  • Large fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) builds will not earn a return on investment (ROI) for at least 15 years, making state-aided builds the only viable model.
  • Telcos must consider losses from not upgrading copper networks, as well as gains from upgrading them. Cash lost from doing nothing could exceed cumulative negative cash flow from a fiber build after as little as 10 years.

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