What Can We Expect From Fibre Optic Broadband in 2020?
As little as five years ago, fiber optic broadband was limited in availability and difficult to access unless you lived in a large urbanised location.
13:34 24 February 2020
This was particularly true in the UK, where it has taken years to provide fiber optic connections to rural locations. Indeed, there are still many areas across the UK where it is not an accessible option. However, that is quickly changing and there is now an increase in efforts to get everyone on the fibre optic map.
Indeed, faster internet connections have become more crucial than ever. Both members of the general public and businesses are sharing and transferring massive levels of data online. This is only possible with the fastest internet speed that can cater to the growing demand. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day and 90% of the data in the world was created in the last five years.
The message here is clear. We are in desperate need of faster internet connections across the map. But what can we expect from fiber optic connections through 2020?
More Areas Receive Fibre Optic Connections
In 2020, more areas in the UK are going to be able to receive fiber optic broadband than ever before. Openreach has announced over 200 new locations which equate to around 250,000 premises. These are being added to their 1GBPS capable Fibre to the premises (FFTP) broadband technology that seems to be focusing on those harder to reach areas, like villages far from main towns or cities.
The provider is currently building FTTP at an estimated rate of 26,000 premises per week which is around double what it was a year ago. By the end of 2020, they are expected to be building at a rate of around 30,000 premises per week. As such, the goal to cover around 4 million goals by early 2021 is on track. Those harder to reach areas that have previously struggled with getting good internet connection are now being taken care of, and seem to be the focus of this scheme from Openreach.
New Companies Enter The Race
New companies offering the same services will always bring great benefits for consumers. It makes the market more competitive and forces every supplier to drop their prices. That is exactly what we can expect in 2020 within the fibre optic broadband sector.
A recent report has revealed that Optifi is preparing to join an already crowded fibre broadband market space. While the business does not yet have a website, the company has a firm ambition to deliver an open access Fibre-to-the-Premises network. They will aim to mainly serve homes but will offer their solution to the commercial sector as well.
The company is based in Hertfordshire and has a home office in Tring. With an intention to build a full network, they will allow separate retail ISPs to sell solutions through the services they build on a wholesale business model.
Reports also reveal that Optifi is seeking Code Powers. This will ensure that they are able to deliver the solution far more rapidly to clients and reduce the costs at the same time. This ensures that they will need a lower number of licenses to complete work on the streets.
The company also intends to utilise the existing cable ducts and telegraph poles provided by Openreach to run their fibre. They will do this through the Physical Infrastructure Access Product.
While there is still limited levels of information surrounding the new business, the company will aim to support areas that are dependent on slow copper access networks.
This company will be serving areas around the Greenwich Peninsula within London. However, there is evidence to suggest that they will eventually extend their services to Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire.
When searching for the best fibre optic broadband deals, it is worth exploring these smaller businesses that provide local solutions. They are expected to become more common through 2020 and over the next several years as the technology and resources required for fibre optic broadband become more accessible.
A Push Towards A More Efficient Solution
Right now, there are concerns surrounding the amount of power consumption in the world. One of the biggest concerns is that if there are no attempts to improve this energy consumption, eventually the internet will use more electricity than is generated worldwide. It isn’t possible to increase the amount of electricity we are producing at the same rate as the demand because that would require burning more fossil fuels, leading to more carbon emissions.
However, researchers have now come up with a solution that is ten times more energy effective and comes in the form of an error-correcting chip. The circuits in the chips are optimized to be as energy efficient as possible and help stop the massive drain fibre optic causes.
Energy savings can also happen when the fibre optic communications are controlled at a network level. This requires mathematically modelling the energy consumption in different network resources which will mean that data traffic can be directed to make sure that the resources are used in the best possible way. Having control like this is especially helpful if the number of traffic changes over time, which is usually the case.
Finally, it is worth examining the growth of 5G networks in the UK. Though not directly related to fibre optic broadband, it could have an impact on this sector. It seems as though the government will now be putting an increased level of focus on implementing 5G services and growing this infrastructure across the UK. This could lead to lower levels of support for fibre, particularly with the growing demand for mobile networks like this. However, currently, 5G remains in its infancy stages and is only available in select urban locations across Britain.
It seems clear then that there are some interesting developments for fibre optic broadband on the horizon. Particularly, through 2020, and beyond. At the very least, we can expect this service to become even more accessible, even in the most isolated, rural locations.