Barna Kutvolgyi, MD for Global Consumer operations at JT Global, on the progress being made to roll out fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services in Jersey, the IP-delivered services he thinks will resonate best, and consumer readiness (or otherwise) for TV Everywhere.
Having rolled out all-fibre networks in Jersey, JT Global has experience of the significant challenges involved. Where do you currently stand with this deployment?
In 2011, the States of Jersey endorsed JT’s plan to build an ubiquitous FTTH infrastructure, with a targeted switch off of the copper network by 2015 – which would position JT as one of the first Tier 1 operators to achieve such a feat.
Currently, we have already passed over half of the premises on the island and fibre connected more than five per cent of the households.
What are the USPs (if any) that you see for IP cable and FTTH network operators?
Our key USPs, when compared to the legacy copper network, include the ability of fibre technology to guarantee the downlink and uplink speeds (whereas the “up to” nature of the legacy copper service is variable and rarely achieved) so our customers can start using services that require guaranteed high speed throughputs (HD streaming, HD video conferencing, etc.)
Also, with our gigabit proposition, JT can offer significantly higher download speeds compared to the maximum limits of the different copper solutions (ADSL or VDSL) and with our new 100Mb and 1Gb products our customers can now benefit from an increasing portfolio of high speed (>20Mb) services, such as UHDTV or multi user access
Our point-to-point infrastructure deployment enables us to provide an identical download and upload service, which compares well against the strict technical limitations of the asymmetrical copper service, and makes a new series of cloud-based services available for regular households (personal media hosting, hosted home surveillance, interactive e-education, etc.)
Finally, fibre is not susceptible to external factors, such as changes in temperature, lightning or water ingress.
What IP-delivered features and services do you think resonate most with consumers, and crucially, which will generate the most revenues?
After the fibre installation, customers initially boost up already familiar services , enjoying faster internet browsing and more reliable content streaming, but we see a clear trend towards the adoption of interactive digital services (online gaming, HD video telephony, teleworking etc.) soon afterwards.
Are consumers ready for TV Everywhere? Or is market demand an illusion?
There is a tangible demand in the market for a hybrid TV solution that combines the well-accustomed linear channels with catch-up directory service (including VOD) and a variety of built-in streamed internet content.
OTT versus the old IPTV solution also allows the application of new pricing models (e.g. revenue share per user based) and very flexible content management.