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Cable TV Operators Utilizing FTTH Strategy

Inspired by the rate at which telecom operators in many global markets are deploying fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks, an increasing number of cable operators are doing the same, according to a recent study from ABI Research. Selected operators in specific markets are starting to build fiber extensions to their core networks, allowing them to offer more interactive services and get around the limits of coaxial networks.

"On-demand environments for cable TV networks are not particularly robust compared to what the telecom operators could roll out," says Michael Arden, principal broadband analyst at ABI Research. "Looking to the future, some cable companies see fiber as a means to offer advanced video services that they are hard-pressed to provide today."

Cable operators in the U.S. and parts of Canada, Western Europe, Japan and a few other regions have core networks that are fiber-rich already. Extending the fiber network to the home is a logical progression, adds Arden, but one that makes the best economic sense in new developments under construction where they would be constructing a fiber network anyway, rather than in trying to retrofit older neighborhoods.

It is also, by and large, smaller operators, with fewer homes to reach, that are choosing this path. Recent examples include City Cable Shunan, a Japanese cable TV operator in the Yamaguchi prefecture that is building its "FTTU" (fiber to the user) network using Alcatel equipment; Cable One, the tenth largest cable operator in the United States, that is deploying fiber in Albuquerque, New Mexico using Wave7 products; and Cable Bahamas.

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