Phasing out of copper

Owen DeLong owen at
Wed Dec 3 02:16:21 UTC 2014

Depends on your desired outcome and goals. However…

I would think that rather than trying to convince regulators that you know better than the incumbents what they intend to do, it makes more sense to explain to regulators why maintaining copper once sufficient FTTP adoption is complete is foolhearty and a waste of money. If you can show that doing so creates unnecessary costs for consumers and doesn’t preserve a meaningfully competitive environment (after all, how can your services that are limited to being delivered over copper possibly compete effectively with FTTP?), I would think that should show the regulators that regardless of what the incumbents are saying, copper’s days as a delivery mechanism are numbered and that meaningful competition in the future requires competitive access to FTTP.

Most alarm systems these days simply use a POTS circuit and many are now capable of using IP service via  an ethernet port, so the days of requiring a dry copper pair (ULL) for an alarm circuit are numbered. You might be able to make a case (especially in Alberta) for “Farmer Lines” still requiring dry copper pairs, but even that is kind of sketchy these days.

If you’re trying to preserve access to dry copper for some reason, perhaps more information about your real goal and the real reasons behind it might help. If you’re trying to remain competitive, then I think access to unbundled fiber services is really where you should focus your efforts.


> On Nov 28, 2014, at 7:46 AM, Jean-Francois Mezei <jfmezei_nanog at> wrote:
> Currently in the midst of a CRTC policy hearing in Canada on future of
> competition in ISPs.
> Incumbents claim they have no plans to retire their copper plant after
> deploying FTTP/FTTH.  (strategically to convince regulator that keeping
> ISPs on copper is fine and no need to let them access FTTP).
> For my reply I am trying to get more authoritative info to show that
> incumbents do have plans to retire the copper plant once enough
> customers have migrated to FTTP ( I heard that 80% migration is the
> tip-ver where they convert the rest of customers to FTTP to be able to
> shutddown the copper).
> Anyone have pointers to documents or experiences that would help me
> convince the regulator that incumbents deploy FTTP with eventual goal to
> be able to shutdown their old copper instead of perpetually maintaining
> both systems ?
> Also being discussed is removing regulations for access to ULL
> (unbundled local loops).  In areas being upgraded to FTTP, are there
> services that really need copper ULLs and do not have an FTTP equivalent
> ? (home alarm systems ?).
> When an incumbent states for the record that "retiring copper is not in
> their current plans", I know that it means that it isn't in their short
> term plans. But I need some evidence of what other telcos do to help
> show the incumbent is "spinning".
> Any help appreciated.

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