How Do You Future-Proof the Last Mile?
In an environment that’s changing as fast as the broadband access network, it’s difficult for operators to build out upgrades today with any guarantee they’ll still meet customer needs tomorrow.
High-demand applications like virtual reality and autonomous cars are still in their infancy, making it difficult to estimate their impact. And actual networking technologies — from virtualization to distributed access architectures to new fixed wireless implementations — are still in flux.
So how do operators decide where to invest now?
“Little Band-Aid fixes are only going to last for so long,” says senior Ovum Ltd.analyst Jaimie Lenderman, suggesting small capacity upgrades won’t suffice.
The only surefire response to looming network demands is more deep fiber.
“Anywhere you can start pushing fiber in closer to the customer, it’s going to help future-proof your network,” she adds.
Lenderman is one of the panelists at the upcoming session, “Building the New Last Mile,” at Light Reading’s Big Communications Event. Her call for deeper fiber is not one anybody in the industry is likely to dispute, but it’s also only the start of a much larger conversation. Where should wireless take over for wired connections? How can operators use infrastructure upgrades to generate new revenue? How quickly do providers need to increase capacity?