July 29, 2021

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FTTH Network Sharing: Comparison of Passive and Active Approaches

Source: FTTH Council MENA

Given the highly capital-intensive nature of FTTH, it is inevitable that competitive duplication of infrastructure will be limited around the MENA region and therefore policy with respect to the best means of sharing an open network comes to the fore.

The Regulatory and Policy Committee have been examining active and passive sharing, particularly regarding the socio-economic impact, stimulating competition and promoting new, innovative services.  These two approaches to sharing are quite different:

  • With passive sharing, the service providers use their own electronics and software to deliver their services and simply rent dark fibre from the fibre network owner (FNO). It is usually necessary to integrate the OSS systems so that order data can flow freely, and customers can be kept informed in real time.
  • With active sharing, the FNO builds and owns the fibre of course and will usually build the active layer itself although it may grant a concession to a specialised wholesale operator. 

The authors have been involved as executives, advisors or suppliers in more than a dozen open fibre networks across three continents.  Based on this experience, after first re-capping what an open access fibre network is, we compare active verses passive layer sharing and offer our views regarding the merit of each.

Mr Bader Alzaidi is General Manager - Network Planning & Technology at Oman Broadband.

Mr Stefan Stanislawski is Partner at fibre strategy consultants Ventura Team LLP and is a co-founder of new fibre owners PTZ fibre in Zambia, FNM in Spain and Connect Fibre in the UK.

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