An Engineering and Policy Analysis of Fiber Introduction into the Residential Subscriber Loop

An engineering model which provides a framework for evaluating alternative network architectures for providing fiber to the home is presented. The analysis employs this model to construct estimates of the average cost per subscriber of several network alternatives which have been proposed in the literature. The results identify two possible network architectures, the active double star and the passive double star, as particularly attractive alternatives. Sensitivity analyses provide detail on the critical contributors to overall costs. Several policy issues raised by the analysis, including the proper allocation of risk from fiber-to-the-home investments, are considered