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February 29, 2008

FTTH Council Europe's First Ever Study Proves Positive Impact on Sustainable Development through FTTH Networks

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor


The FTTH Council Europe announced the results of a research exercise evaluating the sustainability and environmental impact of fiber networks, which shows that the net environment impact of FTTH will be positive in less than 15 years.
 
First of its kind, the research was conducted in collaboration with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and the Council’s Sustainable Development and FTTH Committee (SUDEFIB).
 
Joeri Van Bogaert, president of the FTTH Council Europe, commented in a statement, “The results clearly demonstrate the overall service and environmental benefits of FTTH. The findings stand as testament that fiber is a sustainable and future-proof technology for the 21st century.”

 
He explained that the research compared the environmental impact of a typical FTTH network to its associated benefits and will provide the foundation for further research on the subject by the Council.
 
The study noted that maximizing the opportunity for new services whilst minimizing the materials and maintenance required, FTTH contributes to “reduction in road travel, less transport infrastructure, and the introduction of innovative social and government services.”
 
In the study, the total impact of network implementation takes into account the full lifecycle of a typical fiber infrastructure from production of passive equipment, transport, implementation of all active equipment and power consumption to end of life.
 
Christian Ollivry, chair of the SUDEFIB Committee, commented, “Beyond this 15 year timescale, which is quite conservative, the research shows that FTTH provides only positives for Europe.”
 
He pointed out the results are based on calculations from tele-working and tele-assistance applications only.
 
The research used the projection of FTTH users according to IDATE -- 20 million for 2015 -- and found that for the first 15 years of network implementation, greenhouse gas emission savings per user were found to be 330 kg, which is equivalent to a car traveling 2,000 kilometers.
 
The research findings suggest that moving forward, the sustainability of FTTH solutions is expected to increase significantly as user experience grows and other fields -- not assessed in this current study such as supply-chain management and energy demand -- are considered.
 
In addition, over the full network lifecycle, the use of the network -- power consumption -- represents only six percent of the total environmental impact, while the production and deployment of the equipment totals over 80 percent.
 
However, the research findings report that with continuing innovations taking place in the industry these processes are becoming “cheaper, quicker and less disruptive, henceforth reducing the environmental impact and further increasing the sustainability of fibre networks over time.”
 
 
Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
 
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