Where Should We Invest in Fiber Next?

Apr 9, 2018
by Josh Anderson

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC — At CapRE’s recent Second Annual Greater Montréal & Québec Data Centre Summit, we convened a panel of experts in fiber connectivity to talk about how networks are changing to support growing demand. Fortunately the panel provided a wide range of opinions. One such opinion came from panelist Michael Bucheit, CEO, I.C.E. Data Centres as well as Metro Optic, a pair of positions which enabled him to offer an interesting combination of perspectives. So we asked him, where should we invest in fiber next?

“We can talk about OTT. We can talk about IoT. We can talk about 5G. One common thing is fiber,” he began. “All of the demand will have to pass via fiber. We are a fiber provider to wireless companies in the U.S. and abroad. We do fiber towers, we understand very well the demand.”

Bucheit then referred to a recent study by Deloit, which predicted that by 2020, IP traffic will grow to 3.3 zeta-bytes. “80% of that will be video,” he recalled. “If you look at applications for corporations and for home, a few years back, we were stopping when we got to the door at home. But if look into the room here today, are we putting our phones down? When are we putting our laptop down? If you get into your car and forget your phone, you usually don’t mind going back to pic up your phone. You feel kind of empty. You feel kind of naked. It just doesn’t make of sense.”

“If you look at all of the markets…one that’s changing a lot is the retail side of the house,” he continued. “We see it with the Amazons of this world, but we also see it with the large retail companies that are trying to put strategies together to be able to still capture that revenue that they have. And the only way they can do that, is their warehouse must become a data hub. Eventually all of their communication will go back to them, and they’’ll drive their business that way.”

Bucheit returned to emerging technology with his next comments. “I think that if you look at 5G, we’re still a little bit far from it,” he predicted. “There’s going to be a lot of investment to get to that level. But if I’m not mistaken, it’s going to triple the capacity, to be able to drive that data from one point to another. And when we look into a bit more international, now companies are looking at the business differently. It’s easier to interconnect. It’s easier to do an acquisition. It’s easier to communicate. It’s a lot easier to say Hey, I’ll have a team there, and I’ll do a video-conference. And that quality needs to be there.”

Michael Bucheit, CEO, I.C.E. Data Centres & Metro Optic

Finally, Bucheit hearkened back to the telco hayday for reference. “It’s very similar to what we had a few years back, and when we picked up the phone, and it needed to work,” he likened. “All of the time. It’s very similar to what the internet is today. It needs to work all of the time, and it’s something that we need day in, day out, to be able to do what we do. It’s work, it’s vacation, and it’s anything that goes in the growth and the evolution of what’s going on in the world today.”

Check out previous CapRE Insider Reports covering this panel:


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