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Study for the European Commission to consider the cost of providing future connectivity across Member States

Project experience | Consulting

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The problem

  • The study’s objective was to estimate the cost of delivering three future connectivity aims: providing 1Gbit/s connections to socio-economic drivers and professionals (SEDPs); providing future mobile connectivity; and providing 1Gbit/s connections to all residential areas

The solution

  • We conducted a review of the technologies suitable for supporting the aims
  • We then estimated the deployment cost of six discrete infrastructure scenarios that combine deployments of fibre and wireless infrastructure
  • The results of the scenarios were presented on a standalone and incremental basis, including the extent to which costs can be met by the commercial sector

The result

  • The study found that economies of scale are crucial for deploying 1Gbit/s-capable fibre connections. There are significant synergies between scenarios to connect different types of subscriber with fibre
  • Also, the number of users at each connection must be carefully considered. For example, the cost per connection of connecting only large businesses, schools and local authority buildings may be high, but the cost per user would be much lower (as each connection serves multiple users)
  • Regarding future mobility, anticipated developments in mobile technology should ensure that average speeds of 50Mbit/s can be achieved. However, significant additional costs would need to be incurred to either a) extend mobile coverage to all major transport links, and/or b) deploy very dense small cells to realise mobile speeds of 1Gbit/s or more, across a wide area
  • Our final report was published by the EC, and is available at: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/costing-new-potential-connectivity-needs