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This is a remarkable statement coming from an alternative operator, TelstraClear of New Zealand. The telco says the main result of faster broadband links to the home may be more downloads of pornography and movies rather than improvements to productivity, quotes the New Zealand Herald. "At the moment we don't believe that putting fibre into every home is economic or necessary."

My comments:

  • TelstraClear is owned by Telstra, which explains a lot of the above. Telstra too thinks FTTN (instead of FTTH) is sufficient for the Australian consumer market.
  • TelstraClear proposes FTTB (business market) instead of FTTH. I'm not sure about traffic congestion in New Zealand, but there is a lot to say for teleworking. That too is a driver on the demand side.
  • I've heard the argument before: why build FTTH if all they do with it is illegal file-sharing? Who are you to say what people may or may not do with their internet connection. Let the people rule!
  • There is some reference to wireless as an alternative. I just don't believe it.

Here is a reminder to Mr. Freeth of TelstraClear that video  is not just about illegal or otherwise questionable material:

  • Growth rates are still high. Think YouTube and other user-generated stuff.
  • Most markets need some serious TV competition, and not just for live broadcast TV, but for VoD and catch-up TV as well. Telcos are all upgrading to offer IPTV. For that, even VDSL2 isn't enough.
  • Telepresence, videoconferencing, monitoring, telehealth, teleworking, cloud computing, video calling, etc.: they all require huge bandwidths.
  • Screens are getting bigger; movies and games are going HD, 3-D and holographic.
  • Place-shifting (e.g. Slingbox).

And to be sure, there is more:

  • Fuel and carbon savings.
  • If you don't, somebody alse will build and grab some extra GDP growth (like Mauritius).
  • Cablecos are upgrading to DOCSIS 3.0. If you want to keep up, you might as well leap ahead of them and acknowledge that FTTH is the end-game.
  • The build-out of a nationwide FTTH network takes at least 10 years to reach a good portion of the population. So, you better start today.
  • Many applications require symmetric connections. Only FTTH will be able to offer that.
Source: Fiber To the Home: Will They Ever Learn?