ADSL technology cannot guarantee the minimums of the European Commission when it comes to Internet access. These include offering 30 Mbps at least to the entire population and 100 Mbps to half the population. For this, technologies such as FTTH fiber, HFC cable or even 4G, 5G and satellite can be used. Therefore, in 2021 there will hardly be 500,000 ADSL exchanges and they will be closed progressively when the requirements expire:
A plant can only be closed when more than 25% of the clients of that plant are connected by alternative means to the copper network. If there are alternative operators unbundling the loop, Telefónica must continue to provide this wholesale service for 5 years and with 6 months of storage. If there are no alternative operators in the plant, the warranty period is reduced to 1 year with the corresponding 6 months of guard.
The sale of copper, a lucrative business
The material of the old plants and the fixed broadband networks that have been dying down in recent times as they are replaced by FTTH, has been sold in the Spanish market by Movistar in exchange for around 40 million euros. The decision to sell the copper is framed within the company’s decisions to maximize the efficiencies of all its activities.
In addition, the process of closing plants and deploying fiber optics to the home is a way to optimize. To give us an example, with 2,400 pairs of copper cable you can serve those same users, that is, 2,400 customers. For its part, with a 256-fiber cable, we have a total of 16,384 leads.
As if this were not enough, the fiber occupies 15% less space and a fiber power plant serves the same customers as before four copper power plants. Finally, it is necessary to add the maintenance of the network that is much more economical with the leading technology of the optical fiber and the claims for low speed are reduced.