Vyyo, citing figures from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., notes that telcos will need to shell out $1,000 per customer for fiber-to-the-premises, and $800 per customer for fiber-to-the-neighborhood build-outs. At that rate, it could take telcos nine years to get a return on that investment.
Vyyo, of course, has some serious skin involved in the overlay method. It markets a system that is designed to extend cable bandwidth to about 3 GHz. The most recent round of cable upgrades pushed spectrum to 750 MHz or 860 MHz.
In order to deliver the coming demands of standard- and high-definition television channels, video-on-demand, high-speed data, telephony and business services, Vyyo believes cable operators should be proactive and support 225 channels (at 6 MHz each) of downstream capacity – about twice the amount in place today. Vyyo suggests that operators double their upstream capacity, as well.
Vyyo claims its spectrum overlay approach costs $125 per home passed.
Most cable operators, however, have been reluctant (publicly, at least) to put spectrum overlay on the table as an attractive option for increasing bandwidth or bandwidth efficiency. Instead, much of the discussion tends to touch on other methods such as node splits, advanced compression, and switched broadcast technology.