Expensive truck rolls, lack of control over third party devices and failure rates. These are three common challenges that internet service providers face in their battle to keep end customers satisfied with their in-home internet performance, while also keeping running costs as low as possible.
All over Europe, more and more fiber optic cables are being laid in the ground, providing Europeans with lightning-fast fiber-to-the-home solutions. However, the superhighway also has its challenges for internet service providers (ISPs). Let’s have a look at three of the most prevailing challenges facing ISPs delivering Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) solutions.
# 1 Expensive truck rolls
When end users experience a loss of bandwidth, they will of course call their ISP. Actually, European internet service providers report that as many as 72% of all calls to their helpdesks involve in-home performance issues. Help desk support is time-consuming, and when an issue cannot be resolved by guidance over the phone, a truck roll is necessary:
- Whenever fault detection requires on-site support, expenses increase significantly. For many ISPs this is where the real struggle is, Volker Bendzuweit, GM DACH at Icotera, explains.
#2 Lack of control over devices
End users always pursue the fastest and most stable internet connection. When end users suffer from failing bandwidth, they are likely to bring branched routers and access points into the network architecture.
According to Mattias Stragne, VP Sales Nordic at Icotera, the challenges of failure rates and support costs become especially problematic when third-party CPE is connected to the network:
- In these cases, network disturbance is caused by products that the ISP hasn’t verified and sometimes knows little about. But the end user will still call the ISP when there are in-home performance issues, and suddenly a third-party product failure ends up becoming the ISP’s headache. It is extremely difficult to detect a fault in a device that you cannot monitor remotely, he explains.
Third-party routers and access points are a necessary evil for ISPs that only offer the fiber network but not the in-home wireless network to their end customers. When ISPs refrain from offering the wireless network, it is often because they fear it will end up increasing maintenance costs.
- But even those who don’t offer still end up in the firing line at the end of the day, when there is a performance issue. So, the question is whether it isn’t better to offer the service and take control of it, says Mattias Stragne.
#3 Failure Rates
According to Volker Bendzuweit, Icotera especially one thing keeps ISPs awake at night:
- In general, failure rates pose a huge problem for ISPs delivering FTTH solutions. Because of the sensitivity of the fiber cables, it is extremely problematic if end users start tampering with the fibers themselves. Two-box solutions that include fiber termination (FTU), gateway and router are extremely vulnerable, he explains and adds:
- It often only takes a small bump into the FTU or cables to cause a failure –and this can be very time-consuming and expensive for ISPs to resolve.
- It takes time consuming help desk support and expensive truck rolls to solve in-home performance issues.
- Failure detection with third-party CPE can be extremely cost-intensive, and this can give ISPs a number of challenges when brought into the network architecture.
- Failure rates presents an expensive challenge to ISPs.
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