China mandates FTTH for newly-built properties

The Chinese government is to make fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity mandatory for all domestic new-build residences. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will introduce the legislation from April 1, 2013 according to local reports.

The policy will only apply to regions of the country where a public fibre-optic telecom network is available, according to Chinese newspaper China Daily, and residence owners will be offered services from a variety of ISPs, in order to ensure customer choice.

China’s government hopes to have 40 million families connected to fibre networks by 2015 according to a report in another Chinese national newspaper, Economic Information Daily.

The news follows forecasts from research firm Ovum that smart grids based on passive optical networking (PON) technologies are set to provide a $1.5-2bn opportunity for fibre and FTTx component and infrastructure vendors targeting China.

The construction of PON-based smart grids would enable fibre connectivity to residences in China. A major driver is expected to be the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) which is pursuing a smart grid project that could also be part of a plan to become a communications service provider. Ovum believes such projects would also benefit optical line termination (OLT) equipment vendors, optical network terminal (ONT) box manufacturers, component vendors and cabling manufacturers operating in China.

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