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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected entire sectors of our global economy. With working from home and social distancing becoming the new standard, the telecom sector appears to be a key accelerator in keeping our economies up and running. While broadband connectivity is now seen as a evident ‘facility’ in these times of crisis, new perspectives have emerged for telecom operators. At this time, most cable operators have deployed DOCSIS 3.0 in their country of operations. However, two trends have emerged for them. The issue is if it is more profitable to upgrade existing networks towards DOCSIS 3.1 or if it is wiser to gradually migrate towards full-fibre networks, given the throughput limitations of cable.

This study examines in detail how cable and fibre markets are evolving, thus defining the main trends observed in key markets as the US and Europe.
The major part of the study examines the range of tools able to guide a decision-making process (where/when/how to make the move towards FTTH? DOCSIS?).
Finally, it discusses whether DOCSIS should be seen as a game changer when compared to FTTH.

Key questions

  • How are cable and fibre broadband markets evolving?
  • What are the main trends identified in key markets?
  • Which strategies are being implemented by cable operators now, or can be expected in the near future?
  • Which specificities differentiate DOCSIS from FTTH?
  • What options shape a move towards full fibre or DOCSIS implementation?
  • What are the main characteristics to take into account in the decision-making process?

Key figures: 

  • Broadband connectivity is keeping our economies up and running in these crisis times.  During the 1st COVID peak, used bandwidth increased by 50% in the USA. IDATE DigiWorld estimates 122 million DOCSIS 3.0 fiber subscribers. In the United States, this technology represents 62% of broadband connections.