European policy chiefs may care to take a look at the development of broadband cable services before putting their faith entirely in FTTH, writes Julian Clover.
There are many and varied ways to get a broadband signal to a consumer. The arrival of DOCSIS 3 a few years back pretty much cemented cable’s position against the telcos.
Anything the incumbents can do, so too the cable sector, at least in those areas where the service is available in the first instance.
In my own locality Cambridgeshire County Council is currently running a campaign to ‘Get Cambridgeshire Connected’. The council wants superfast broadband in the Cambridge and Peterborough areas and has so far has convinced 3,000 local residents and businesses to sign its petition.
As far as I can work out both myself and the council can already receive superfast broadband from a variety of providers. But drive just 20 minutes out of town and these choices fall away to the extent that not only is broadband a challenge, but so too the ability to get anything resembling a stable mobile phone signal.
Cable Europe has been looking to dispel what it describes as Europe’s unhealthy obsession with FTTH as Europe’s panacea. The trade body points out that Data traffic in cable networks travels over fibre for 98% of its journey and that on average, only the last 300 meters in cable networks are coaxial, the rest is fibre.
To the point, Kabel Deutschland this week announced it had become the first cable operator in the world to achieve a 4,700 Mbps download speed.
The maximum download speed of 4.7 Gbit/s achieved in the Schwerin field test, with help from partner Arris, enables KD to transmit more bandwidth than current PC and laptops could process.
Transmitting speeds the consumer can’t cope with isn’t the point. It shows the network is well and truly future proofed.
Across in Croatia Vipnet, ironically a subsidiary of Telekom Austria, demonstrated 4.3 Gbps. This transmission speed, again built on DOCSIS, is 1000 times higher than the average data rate currently available in Croatian households
Europe must surely correct this blind spot.