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The Lightwave Blog
MSOs go public with FTTH interest
January 8, 2008
By Meghan Fuller Hanna
An interesting little item just crossed my desk from the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers' Ontario Chapter. The group today issued a call for papers for its general meeting, to be held in Hamilton on Tuesday, February 5, 2008.
While this is hardly newsworthy, here's the interesting part: The meeting's theme is fiber-to-the-home/premises, etc.
Call me crazy, but I kinda think that's BIG news.
It seems much has changed since The Wall Street Journal's oft-cited August 17, 2006, article, "Cable industry may need to spend heavily on upgrades," which touched off the will-they/won't-they debate regarding cable MSOs and FTTH technology.
The article cited a Cable Labs report that argued that the MSOs would have to spend billions to ward off the potential threat posed by Verizon's FTTP-based FiOS initiative and AT&T;'s FTTN-based Project Lightspeed. At the time, many of the largest MSOs balked at the report's findings, arguing that their current networks and the emerging DOCSIS 3.0 would be more than sufficient for their long-term needs.
But now we have the SCTE, THE professional association of the cable MSOs, publicly announcing its interest in FTTH.
According to the call, "possible topics of interest" include:
* FTTX topologies;
* FTTX technologies;
* FTTX advanced services/content to be delivered;
* FTTX cost models;
* FTTX challenges in deployment; and
* FTTX state of the industry, current and future deployments.
As someone who was only recently married after 30 (ahem) years of being single, I know first-hand there's a big difference between "interest" and commitment. For their part, the FTTH system vendors seem determined to woo the cable MSOs. (Look for my article on this subject in Lightwave's February issue.) But now it seems the MSOs have decided FTTH is, at the very least, worth getting to know a little better.
In the world of optical communications, this is definitely a Page Six-worthy development.
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