NZ: Double the Fibre to the Home – Wise or Wasteful?

Across the ditch in New Zealand, the Kiwis are planning their own fibre network but in an interesting twist, homes will have not one but two fibres entering the premises. The idea behind this approach is to have retailers battle it out in the home but not for the home.

Now, I’m not privy to the technical details of the infrastructure or the wholesale/retail model that will be implemented but from my point of view this seems to be an odd approach. Physical separation of services such as telephony, IPTV and internet access may present opportunities for simplified billing for the customer but there is no reason why the same outcome could not be achieved over one fibre. Here in Australia, VoIP telephony, IPTV and internet access can all happily coexist on a single ADSL connection from potentially three separate providers.

To be honest, I think there will be a lot of dark fibre in the ground or overhead (depending on how their fibre will be deployed) and this will be an incredibly wasteful stunt. Fibre is not like traditional copper services which, before the advent of ADSL, could only be used for one thing at a time and at a limited speed (so either voice or dialup internet up to 56Kbps).

I guess we’ll see how New Zealand progresses its fibre strategy but they could save themselves some cash by cutting back on the waste.

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