Arthur D. Little: Decisive National Fiber strategies needed to boost future economic growth

The telecom industry, governments and regulators need to move decisively to fiber in order to support future economic growth, states Arthur D. Little (ADL) in its new report, “National Fiber Strategies: National economic imperative or just another private industry task?” There are clear economic benefits to improving broadband infrastructure; jobs are created, household income is increased and there is a permanent boost to GDP. Ultra-fast broadband also drives critical diversification of economies, as Small and Medium Businesses are among the first to benefit from new services. It is no longer possible to modernize and upgrade the copper-based network. Whole fiber or mainly fiber networks are now needed not only for the fastest fixed access services, but also to underpin the micro layer of the latest mobile backhaul networks. These benefits do not come cheap, as the investment needed is vast. On the back of huge investments made by incumbent operators, some GCC countries are already ranked as global leaders in passing homes/connecting homes to their FTTH networks. Although this is bringing increasing visibility to the region in global discussions on high-speed broadband infrastructure deployment, the Middle East still has significant challenges to overcome that require intensive government participation. More regional governments are starting to appreciate the role of fiber infrastructure in the national socio-economic development. “Governments should ensure the right regulation and control so that funding can maximize the economic impact.” states Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Partner, ADL Middle East and South East Asia. “After 30 years or more of breaking national monopolies, it now seems that too much infrastructure competition is holding back fiber deployment, which in turn is hurting consumers and the wider economy.” Based on a global market survey, ADL has identified five National Fiber models that governments around the globe have followed to reap the benefits from fiber. ADL has concluded that the most promising fiber strategy models involve a hybrid approach, a combination of free market competition, graded government coordination and geographically-targeted public investment open to competitive bid. “Choosing a National Fiber strategy is about identifying the best model for specific national market conditions and applying that model well” adds Dr. Karim Taga, Managing Partner and Global Practice Leader, ADL TIME practice. To access the full report, please visit:

Notes for Editors

About Arthur D. Little Founded in 1886 as the world’s first consulting firm, Arthur D. Little has continually transformed business thinking and practice by applying its expertise in the areas of strategy, technology and innovation. Today, Arthur D. Little helps companies to create growth, overcome strategic challenges, improve innovation capabilities, and increase efficiency and competitiveness in a globalised marketplace. Arthur D. Little has a global footprint in 20 countries with a network of over 1,000 people.

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