FTTH in housing developments expected to increase

KUALA LUMPUR: With increasing end-user demand and the government’s initiative to push for wider broadband usage, developers may soon be expected to install fibre to the home (FTTH) infrastructure in their developments.

FTTH, which refers to fibre-optic cables, can deliver video, Internet and voice services through greater high-speed broadband connection with high definition.

Guven Togan, chief technology officer of PCOM Group of Companies believes the recent directive from the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) requiring the compulsory installation of broadband ducting in all new housing developments in Kuala Lumpur is a clear sign of things to come.

Another requirement is for all business premises operating in Kuala Lumpur to be equipped with wireless Internet connection will come into effect by 2012.

Established in 1999, PCOM specialises in the sale and marketing of fibre-optics as well as the provision of device connectivity solutions for homes and businesses.

At this point, Togan finds that a majority of developers are unaware of how FTTH works and how it can add value to a development and increase the property price.

“Developers tend to look at the cost first when something new comes to their attention. There is a slight additional cost, but FTTH is also a selling tool and helps to future-proof their developments,” said Togan.

According to the FTTH Council Asia-Pacific, developments with FTTH infrastructure have seen increases in price from US$4,000 (RM12,000) to US$14,000, while in Taiwan, FTTH-ready properties appreciate by 3% to 8%.

“The installation cost differs, depending on customer specifications. It can run from a few hundred to thousands of ringgit,” said Togan.

PCOM already has projects with two major developers in the pipeline — a development of 300 bungalows in USJ Heights and 200 terraced houses in Puchong. Togan puts the cost of basic FTTH infrastructure installation for the above projects at about RM1,000 per unit.

In an effort to educate developers on the mechanics and benefits of FTTH, PCOM has teamed up with the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association of Malaysia (Rehda) Institute and Telekom Malaysia Bhd to conduct a seminar, “TM High-Speed Fibre to the Home: Guidelines for Property Developers” from Aug 16 to 18.

“The actual seminar is only half-a-day, we are giving developers three days to choose from. It is free of charge,” said Togan, adding that seating is limited.

According to an official from Rehda Institute, some 50 participants have signed up, about 90% of whom are from the Klang Valley.

This article appeared on the Property page, The Edge Financial Daily, August 12, 2011.

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