The Porsche 911 and the BMW boxer motorcycle show what can be achieved by consistently improving and refining an architecture. The strong points have been improved, the weak parts eliminated untill the value of package is just magnificent. Just follow the learning curve..
Lately I started to wonder if this same principle would apply to FttH deployment.
The Netherlands is a good reference because the basic architecture for FttH has been the same for the last 5 years or more. The dominant (> 90%) architecture deployed is point-to-point with 2 fibers per home, and the volume has grown to more than 350.000 homes passed per year. And last but not least, it is possible to get some (mostly off-the-record) intelligence on what is really happening.
The big picture substantiates the idea that practice trumps theory. The construction companies have managed to cut the average cost (Capex) per connection by approx. 15 % in the last 5+ years. That is already impressive, and there is more. The pressure to reduce Capex has lead to various experiments with new materials (packaging) and new processes that are very promising in my opinion. (The details are not yet available for publication). Some of these innovations may turn out to be generic and applicable in other countries as well, some of them may be specific for the Dutch urban areas.
This observation shows that generic cost calculations made by consultants may seriously be overestimating the actual investment levels, as no learning curve effect is taken into account. It shows also that sticking to an architecture and keep on improving and improving and improving pays off very well. Which is good news for FttH…..