Information Networking Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

Comparing Integrated Broadband Architectures from an Economic and Public Policy Perspective

Nosa Omoigui*

Marvin Sirbu**

Charles Eldering***

Nageen Himayat****

published in Telecommunications and Internet Policy, Brock, G., ed. (Lawrence Erlbaum: Washington, DC, 1996).


The potential demand for new telecommunications services and the desire by telephone and cable companies to provide them invariably leads to the question of which architecture is best suited to provide these services. Much prior research deals with the engineering and economic merits of different architectures--particularly Hybrid Fiber-Coax and Fiber-in-the-Loop approaches. In this article, we also treat the economics of the different architectures, but, in addition, we place emphasis on the public policy issues that arise when one considers which architecture to deploy. In particular, we compare HFC and FITL architectures from an economic and policy standpoint.

  1. Introduction
  2. Description of the Basic Architectures
    1. Architectures for Narrowband or Broadcast Services
      1. HFC Architecture
      2. DLC Architecture
      3. FTTC Architecture
    2. Architectures for Broadband and Interactive Services
      1. Advanced HFC
      2. FTTC with HFC overlay
      3. All FTTC
      4. DLC with HFC overlay
  3. Economic Models
    1. Scenarios Considered
    2. Assumptions
    3. Summary of Component Costs and Economic Assumptions
  4. Results and Economic Comparisons
    1. Baseline Architectures
    2. Advanced Architectures
  5. Policy Implications
  6. Summary and Conclusions