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Little Slovenia, part of the Big Fiber Dream

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Slovenia is one of those tiny nations you may have heard off but may have difficulty finding on the map. Independent for about 16 years, the country with a population of over 2 million was carved out of the old Yugoslavia. Despite its diminutive size, it is one of the important players in the fiber-to-the-home revolution that is slowly sweeping the world.

The local incumbent, Telekom Slovenije, has launched a project, F2, a massive fiber to the home project that will get 50,000 Slovenian homes fiber-based broadband access by end of 2007. (PDF) That may not sound like much, but it still is an important piece that adds to the growing number of will add to the overall FTTH deployments worldwide, which are slowly and steadily increasing.

According to UBS Research, there will be between 1 and 1.3 million fiber homes by end of 2007, and by 2012 this number could hit 10 million. In comparison, US will have 18 million and Japan will have 30 million fiber-connected homes. (Andrew Schmitt has compiled a nice state of the FTTH report.)

As the deployments of fiber-to-the-home increase, the economies of scale are going to kick in, and lower the cost of fiber deployment, which in turn can drive more network build outs. According to some estimates, the cost of FTTP deployments are decreasing between 5%-to-8%, though folks at Verizon claim a 22% decline over past two years from $1021 to $796.

The slow and steady build-up is going to lift many boats it seems. Today PMC Sierra, a chipmaker announced that it had shipped products that were deployed in four million PON units. Tellabs is another company that is counting on the fiber to really power future growth, and is working with not only big players like Verizon but also with smaller communications companies like Ntelos.

It is going to be interesting few years as fiber snakes it way into our homes, bringing more bandwidth, and possibly opening up opportunities for new applications. And while all the attention be focused on the big nations, lets not forget Slovenia’s fiber dream.

PS: If you would like to share tips, thoughts and information about the fiber rollouts, please send them our way. A big hat tip to D.H., who has been keeping us informed for years now.

11 Responses to “Little Slovenia, part of the Big Fiber Dream”

  1. Hi everyone!

    As an employee of one of the subcontractors of the company, which is currently constructing Slovenia’s fiber network I must correct some of the misinformation. T-2 is solely an ISP, the infrastructure is build and owned by a Slovenian construction, telecommunication and communal company called Gratel. Gratel is building this network for leasing it to all ISP that would show interest in providing fiber services.

  2. IndependentFTTHAnalyst

    True, T-2 has started some 3 years ago, quietly, to lay the foundations of a supermodern FTTH project, amongst the first in Europe. Now, Slovenians already have a few thousand operational FTTH installations, with very competitive pricing. For example, a 10/10 mbps connectivity package from T-2, with no transfer limit and no connection charge, is putting Telekom Slovenije into a very precarious position of being a lame duck. With years of development being wasted on non-productive talk of finding a foreign buyer, TS is now pursuing a path, it has never really abandoned – talking about high tech! Telekom Slovenije is a typical state owned firm, still organized in a socialist fashion as it was 30 years ago.

  3. Slovenia and other emerging countries (esp. new EU members) are interesting cases – when buying infrastructure (both public and internal business systems) they seem to buy the top shelf systems… because there’s few (if any) legacy systems to install. I wouldn’t be shocked if in 10-20 years countries like Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, etc. have better tech infrastructures than us here in the UK and you all in America…

  4. Pity that Americans forget it was Al Tofler who was hired as a consultant to advise the South Korean government – back in the day of the Dae Yung administration – on how to lead their citizens into 21st Century commerce.

    His answer was FTTH and Broadband. Too bad no one in the USA listened.

  5. Beans

    I would like to correct the article. Telekom Slovenije plans to connect 50,000 homes by the end of this year, not as a total.
    But the initiative didn’t come from the Telecom, but rather from the company T-2, which has started building it’s own FTTH network a few years back and now covers some of the main cities. Telekom Slovenije is merely giving an answer to its competition.

  6. If I were responsible for running a developing country FTTH would be my number one infrastructure priority. Every economic revolution requires massive improvements in communications. 17th Century had turnpikes, 18th Century had Canals, 19th Railways, 20th the Car and Plane. The 21st will be the internet and any country that can foster and embrace the internet will gain competitive advantage.

    From a selfish point of view I just hope Europe and specifically the UK understands this.

  7. Gregor


    happy to find out, someone is talking about country from which i came from!

    But, here is the real deal- the fiber optic progress started like 2 years back from a newly created company called T2 (, xDSL internet provider also, the cheapest one, also you can get internet from them without any 12months or more contract. No contract at all actually. Now as the T-2 started to get more and more users that went away from our largest ISP called SiOL (100% owner is Telekom Slovenije), Telekom wants to have those and more members back ASAP! T-2 also offered to “mount” fiber cables free of charge to your house if it was next to the largest canal in which they put they cables.

    Telekom Slovenije owns SiOL. Most citizens in Slovenia know, they’re acting monopolystic, they’re expensive and don’t offer the support they should.

    Kindly said, i think Fiber cables from Telekom will do more damage to Slovenian internet/fiber optic market as anything else.

    Thank god for cable ISP’s and T-2 who are actually taking lots of new members just because of Telekom’s monopolicity.

    -just my 5 cents of euros from Slovenia ;)