An assessment of HFC and FTTP options for gigabit connectivity in the UK market

With recent recognition of the need for some consideration of technologies other than full fibre, Government has shifted to consider “gigabit-capable” solutions, defined as those offering “a broadband connection of at least 1 Gbps/1,000 Mbps”. With the new Johnson Government, the schedule for nationwide access to gigabit-capable connections has also been revised from 2033 to 2025. Today, digital networks are widely recognised as critical infrastructure, and thus the development of resilient and economically efficient solutions is imperative. Given that investment in new access networks is capitally intensive, Government and industry are motivated to ensure that investment is well-placed, securing new digital infrastructure for several decades to come. There are thus important questions over the relative value of investments in HFC and FTTP networks. In this paper, commissioned by CityFibre Holdings Limited, we assess the relative positioning of HFC and FTTP access networks.