Best practices in Fibre-to-the-Home in Brownfield Development
- The purpose of this study was to provide a review of major players’ activities and best practices for FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) deployment, with a focus on brownfield (existing property) build and installation.
- 7 interviews were conducted with subject matter experts over 3 weeks by Paul Tan (15 years of experience in management consulting including Boston Consulting Group and Kearney)
- Experts were currently with, or had recently departed from Verizon (USA), Bell Canada (CAN), Chorus (NZ), OpenReach (UK), Cityfibre (UK), KT Corp (S. Korea), and KNET (S. Korea) and had roles such as Connect Delivery & Fibre Field Operations Head, Co-founder and Technical Director, Network Support Manager, Network Planning and Design Technical Office.
Synopsis of key findings:
- Area/building prioritization and planning: Operators seek to serve areas of highest demand and expected penetration, but they must balance that with government’s expectations for underserved areas. Planning takes this into account, as well as differences in roll out cost based on factors such as distance from fibre ring, MDU/SDU mix, surface type, and existing infrastructure. Obtaining access to buildings via working with management/owners and municipal authorities is key.
- Build methodology: Operators seek cost effectiveness and the models vary by building type, re-usability of existing structures, and method used (MDU – various types based on style, age, size; and SDU).
- Installation: The installation process is relatively straightforward, but as it is customer facing operators tend to either use their own employees or a contractor who is good at interactions given the impact on brand and customer experience
- SDP (Service Delivery Partner) commercial models: These models vary significantly across providers, for example interviews unearthed three very different models in use:
(a)“Set menu” – price per specific task;
(b) Labour cost (with materials separately paid to materials supplier);
(c) The hand over of the overall budget for a portion of a program (with large number of units). Operators highlight challenges in the early years in scaling and skilling up their (mainly contractor) build/install workforce.
- Sales activity: Pre-sales registration or logging of interest is common, but not heavily used to determine which buildings/areas are prioritised. Sales can occur from 30 days before rollout to an area. In some cases operators only sell once the rollout is done, as customers often expect installation within 1-2 days.
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