In most countries in the Western World FttH deployment starts in attractive areas: the combination of relatively low investment and high probability of getting a good subscription base is sought by everyone. It turns out that deployments in medium sized towns and cities are often succesful because of their social cohesion. While the centers are fibered up, the deployment stops at the outskirts where the density of housing drops.
This digital divide is already creating tensions. The question is raised how to finance deployments beyond these islands of fiber, in the gaps in between, and what the role of the government should be in mitigating this problem. An unanswered question up till now.
Lowering the cost of deploying fiber in less dense area’s is the other side of the equation.
In Finland cable ploughing has become the construction method of choice, where ever possible. Ploughing is literally a tractor ploughing alongside the road while inserting a cable. The pictures show how its done.
The depth at which the cable is laid can be set between 30 and 100 cm. The costs of ploughing are between Euro 0,50 and Euro 1,50 per meter, significantly cheaper than building areal cabling where the pole right costs alone are over 1 Euro per meter.
Seems like a very viable method for countries with soil than can be ploughed and some level of organisation of underground cabling and pipes (you don’t want a plough to cut through other pipes and cables).
(hat tip Fredrik)