Nexst 5 | 2023


UK Broadband and Mobile Providers commit to recruit more women

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Openreach, Three UK, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone have entered into an agreement to help get more women into senior technology positions across the sector. The pledge aims to attract, retain, and promote women in tech-based roles, complementing existing efforts. By joining forces, the parties involved are striving to raise awareness and drive positive change. In December 2021, the FTTH Council Europe shared results of its Gender Diversity Survey. Most participants didn’t believe gender was a barrier to progression, but studies show that, in fact, it is. 60% of women and 80 % of men stated that everybody has the same opportunities to progress. However, in later career stages women are under-represented at higher seniority levels and over-represented at lower levels.

SBTi approves Prysmian’s emission reduction targets

Prysmian Group’s ambitious new emission reduction targets have been approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). New elements include a review of near-term goals and approval of net-zero objectives. Prysmian is committed to reducing total Scope 1 and 2 Greenhoue Gas (GHG) emissions by 47% by 2030, compared to the 2019 baseline. The Group also intends to cut Scope 3 GHG emissions by 28% by 2030, compared to 2019. These targets are more challenging than the previous ones - a reduction of 46% (Scope 1&2) and 21% (Scope 3).

EU to invest €8.1B in telecom and chips

The European Commission has approved a €8.1 billion (US$8.73 billion) Project of Common European Interest (‘IPCEI') to support research, innovation and the first industrial deployment of microelectronics and communication technologies across the value chain with public funding . This funding will be allocated to 56 large, mid-sized and small companies which will be undertaking 68 projects. Focus areas include 5G and 6G, autonomous mobility, AI, and quantum computing. The funding scheme will run through 2032, and the first products are expected in 2025.

Fiber Optic Cable Global Market Report 2023

The global fibre cable market is expected to grow from $72.65 billion in 2022 to $80.24 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.4%, according to a recent study available from ResearchAndMarkets. Key growth drivers include demand for higher bandwidth and faster connection speeds. Further predictions expect the fibre optical cable market to grow to $115.12 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 9.4%.

White House to invest more than US$40 bn in broadband

The US federal government has announced its plans to distribute more than $40 bn in funding for broadband deployment. This will be done through the $42.5 bn Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. "With this funding, along with other federal investments, we're going to be able to connect every person in America to reliable, high-speed Internet by 2030," President Biden stated. “Its not enough to have access – you need affordability and access.” The largest part of the funding ($3.3 bn) will be awarded to Texas, followed by California ($1.8 billion) and Missouri ($1.7 billion).

Record fibre broadband hike in LATAM

In 2022, the number of fibre users in Latin America and the Caribbean grew by an unprecedented 24%. Some 115 m homes in the region had access to high-speed networks at the end of the year, up 12 m from 2021. Growth was largely driven by competitive pricing from carriers looking to attract new consumers. According to the Fiber Broadband Association the fact that cable TV providers and smaller telecom firms have started to offer broadband services may have led to marked subscriber growth.

FCC awards $55M to connect students

The US Federal Communications Commission is committing almost $55 m through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, which provides digital tools and services to support students in communities across the USA. The new funding commitment should benefit some 115,000 students. The program is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) launched to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. To date $6.8 bn of its $7.17 bn budget has been awarded.

Fibre growth South Africa

According to Africa Analysis, fixed broadband household penetration has risen to 20% as of March 2023. This has grown at a four-year CAGR of 22.2% across DSL, fixed wireless, FTTH and fixed 4G and 5G. However, Fibre Network Operators have only passed 3.72 million unique homes of which 2.11 million have access to prepaid FTTH. South Africa’s Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) is currently preparing a project that should enable 1.7 m households to access high-speed Internet services.