Richard Toper, CEO at Setics, has been actively involved in the design and implementation of France’s nationwide broadband plan, which aims to deliver fibre to the home (FTTH) services to 80 per cent of properties in France by 2022

European governments must focus their attention on investing in full fibre networks, or risk being left behind in the race to roll out super-fast connectivity, according to an industry expert. 

Speaking ahead of the Gigabit Access event in Brussels, Toper said that other countries must follow France’s example and prioritise fibre as a matter of urgency.  
“Across France, networks are being redesigned for the 21st century. Traditional phone and cable networks simply can’t provide the bandwidth people need, as they expect to be connected 24/7. Fibre is a ‘must’ for providing broadband in a consistent way. Wireless can be part of the solution, but only if there’s cabling up to the furthest point possible in the network. Not only does the quality of wireless signal vary as you move around, but it’s also shared between all users in a certain spot.” 
“In many – if not all – countries, urban regions are offered fibre first and rural areas see FTTH appear very slowly or not at all. In many European countries, such as Sweden or the UK, this has resulted in local initiatives. Overall, Europe has been slow in investing for the future. This is partly due the number of pressing issues, such as economic downturn, pressure on pension funds, healthcare, safety and more. However, improving existing networks simply won’t suffice. Running fibre up to coaxial and copper networks is a temporary fix, which won’t be able to keep up with current and future demand. In China, by contrast, they’ve been investing huge sums in fibre.”  
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