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Here's the proof!

Fibre is best – but don’t just take our word for it. PricewaterhouseCoopers Ecobilan, an independent advisory firm with rigorous standards, has carried out a study weighing up the environmental impact and associated benefits of fibre access networks.


At SUDEFIB, we know that fibre to the home (FTTH) delivers results for citizens, their communities and for the planet.


But we wanted to show the world independent proof of this. That’s why, in 2008, we commissioned advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and its subsidiary Ecobilan – people with a reputation for uncompromisingly high standards - to undertake a unique study.


The task was to weigh up the sustainability of European FTTH deployments in urban, suburban, and rural scenarios.


For maximum fairness, the study took for its benchmark the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) standard outlined in ISO 14040. LCA is recognized worldwide by Environment Protection Agencies as an efficient, transparent and credible methodology.


Positive – in less than 15 years


The study is the first time the environmental impact of FTTH networks have been assessed and compared with associated environmental benefits.


The total impact of a typical fibre infrastructure was considered, from production of passive equipment, transport, implementation of all active equipment and power consumption to the end of the network’s life.


Three selected benefits that FTTH enables were assessed for the purposes of the study – teleworking, telemedicine and home medical assistance.


The main quantitative finding to come out of the study was that the environmental impact of the deployment of a typical FTTH network will be positive within 15 years of its creation, or possibly sooner.


Other findings include:


  • For the first 15 years of a fibre network’s life, the greenhouse gas emission savings per user amount to 330kg, equivalent to a car travelling 2,000 kilometres
  • The actual deployment of a fibre access network, as distinct from its use, accounts for more than 80% of its total greenhouse gas impact
  • The sustainability of FTTH solutions will increase significantly as user experience grows and aspects not assessed in the study, such as supply-chain management and energy demand, are included


Interested in reading more? Download PwC – Ecobilan study here