Internet transformed our daily lives over the past decade and revolutionized the way we do business. While there remain challenges, the Internet promises to fuel economies and improve well-being in the future. However, Europe has been slower than the US, Korea or Japan to capture the full benefits of the Internet economy.
A PWC study found that Internet represent a huge economic potential for the EU, and Europe has the opportunity to reap these benefits (*). Fiber deployment must be one of those assets.
It is obvious that GDP growth is related to broadband access. Internet economy in Europe is projected to grow 7 times faster than overall EU GDP. Broadband Internet also increases attractiveness. It is very much linked to opportunities for general development. Europe is stronger in the more mature segments of the Internet industry (such as Internet access, phone carriers, hardware and IT services), but lags behind in the segments that enjoy the highest growth rates (such as software, IoT, data analytics).
The main issue that determines deployment of fiber in Europe is, of course, the financial aspect, especially for the construction of last mile network (subscriber loop). Based on the players who build networks (Carriers, public utilities and local authorities), they all want to execute it at the lowest cost as possible. As a consequence, they use alternative technologies, usually related to existing copper or coax networks, sometimes also wireless technologies: those solutions offer today broadband access to Internet with speed 100Mbit/s and more.
EU supports the development of broadband networks. The European Commission announced European Digital Agenda and part of this agenda determines recommendations related to the broadband access for citizens – every household should have the access to minimum 30Mbit/s until 2020. There is also financial support from the EU funds – there are some funding programs based countries, local authorities or private entities have access to financial support of network development.
There are many companies with a European coverage on this market, as well as companies related to a specific country. However, a global company as Axians has capabilities and expertise to deliver turnkey solution for fiber deployment. We are able to bring business and technological consultancy, we can design a whole network, we manage all the legal and administrative process from acquisition to obtain ‘permit to build’ decision and more.
Above mentioned, scope of activities is related to construction of passive part of the networks (fiber optics cabling with related infrastructure) as well as to active devices and solutions (optical transmission DWDM, router/switches, security)
Countries are aware of the importance of fiber deployment all over Europe. However, it’s key to take action and accelerate this deployment in order for Europe to stay competitive.
Adam PAWLOWSKI – Axians International Business Development Manager
(*) PWC Study (2015), The digital future of creative Europe: The impact of digitization and the Internet on the creative industries in Europe (http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/reports/the-digital-future-creative-europe)