Assisting municipalities with their FTTH strategy

Typically, a municipality is not an expert in fibre networks. But they do have a lot of knowledge that needs to be taken into account when preparing a fibre future. Combining the knowledge of the municipality and the expertise of Comsof, we are able to guide the municipality towards a successful fibre future.

In a recent project, we worked togheter with a municipality, with 11.000 buildings and about 25.000 families that needed an FTTH connection. The municipality wanted to create a solid FTTH business case and needed a “Master Plan”, a detailed plan with the location of all equipment (cables, ducts, central offices, ...) for their FTTH network.

The FiberPlanIT Services were executed in two distinct phases:

  1. Cost of best FTTH design, based on the requirements of the municipality
  2. Master Plan for FTTH in the entire municipality

In this blogpost, we will highlight how we assisted the municipality in phase 1 of this project, optimizing their FTTH strategy.

Creating the FTTH business case: accurate costs

When creating the FTTH business case, you need accurate costs of the project. Typically, these costs are being estimated using experience of previous project or the costs are 'calculated' using a spreadsheet that combines the number of buildings, the length of the streets, the density, ... to come up with a 'guesstimate'.
Contrary to this approach, we use the geographical map of the municipality - containing the streets and demand points - to simulate an FTTH rollout. This simulation gives us the trench length, cable lengths, duct lenghts, number of splices, number of splitters, number of distribution points, ... Summarizing this in a Bill of Material results in an accurate cost calculation, enabling an accurate FTTH business case.

Cost of best FTTH design

The upside of this approach - to use geographical details already in the business case - is that we can optimize the FTTH design. In order to choose the optimal FTTH design, we simulated different designs based on the requirements of the municipality. We varied with the following parameters:

  • 2 Different Central Office sizes.
  • 2 Different Distribution Cabinet sizes (cluster-size).
  • 2 Trenching options: Trenching on one side of the street compared to trenching on both sides.
  • 3 Different adoption rates: 20 – 50 – 80 %.

    If you would not use the geographical data of the area, it is impossible to know which of these parameters results in the cheapest FTTH design, for a number of reasons.

    Using the geographical data, we simulated these parameters variations. Combining these parameters, we need to calculate 8 different FTTH designs. Adding these simulations with 3 adoption scenarios results in 24 costs calculations. These FTTH designs are automatically calculated on the GIS data, and summarized in a bill of material. The costs for the 24 simulations are reported in the figure below. The municipality estimated that a 50% adoption was most likely to occur (the green bars in the figure). For this adoption scenario, simulation 5 resulted in the cheapest design.

    The Result

    Using the geographical data of the municipality (streets and buildings), we were able to calculate the costs for the FTTH rollout enabling a solid business case. On top of that, in a short timeframe, we optimized the FTTH design: these simulations enabled a 5% cheaper design for FTTH, or €1.8 million savings on the total costs, for an adoption scenario of 50%.

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