As cable MSOs plot their technology future, the concept of fiber deep takes on more prominence. Fiber deep has many benefits, all centered around giving cable MSOs the technology architecture required for relevancy in the Gigabit age Watch Video.
A deep fiber architecture removes electronics from the head end and places them at the network edge, closer to customers. In so doing, cable MSOs can better deliver gigabit capable broadband to a smaller subset of customers than if delivered from the head end, enabling a much better broadband experience – one that will be increasingly necessary.
Competition from FTTH equipped telcos for better broadband is on the rise. AT&T just announced their FTTH footprint now reaches 5.5 million locations, and they now have close to 2 million FTTH subscribers. They eventually will reach 12.5 million locations, and perhaps more. Verizon is ramping up aggressive FiOS promotions as well and potentially looking to expand their FiOS footprint through their One Fiber program Learn More.
Additionally, the ongoing evolution to 5G will only accelerate FTTH interest, creating a potentially more competitive environment for cable operators. By embracing a fiber deep approach, cable MSOs are positioning their network to meet the growing expectations for faster and better broadband by end customers.
A Network for the Future
Fiber deep provides even more incentives for cable operators. Today’s head end can be quite congested, thanks to rapid customer growth and the introduction of new services and applications. Head end real estate, power, and cooling are at a premium as a result. Fiber deep can free up space in the head end, as electronics are moved closer to the customer. By moving electronics to the edge, cable MSOs are also better positioned to embrace a software-defined access architecture, where broadband access platforms are disaggregated from the head end. These fiber deep benefits will help position cable MSOs for the network of the future, where SDN and NFV add the efficiency, flexibility, and agility needed to compete effectively, while also exceeding growing customer expectations.
The benefits are clear. A fiber deep approach allows cable MSOs to deliver a better broadband experience, delighting customers in the process. It also frees up valuable head end space, eases deployment of more revenue generating applications, and lays the path to a software defined future.