ADSL continues to die: more than 1,000 copper plants have already been closed

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adsl continues to die: more than 1,000 copper plants have
adsl continues to die: more than 1,000 copper plants have

ADSL arrived in our country as a true revolution for our homes, and for many years we have enjoyed all its virtues. However, nothing in this life is eternal, and for some years a process has been started to retire it as fiber optic coverage in our country is further extended. The closure of copper plants is a process that has been developing for some time, and that more than 1000 of these installations have already been carried outspecifically 1024.

The commitment of all the operators is to continue expanding the fiber infrastructures throughout the Spanish territory, something that will have as a direct consequence an even greater closure of copper plants. Keep in mind that fiber optics not only offers better connection quality, but also it is a much more efficient technology and that consumes significantly lower energy levels, in addition to using only 10% of the space used by ADSL. Obviously, this closure must be progressive, since in some areas of our territory the ADSL connection is still the only one available (especially in rural areas).

More plants will be closing in the coming years

This whole process, of course, cannot happen overnight. The first closures of copper power plants occurred more than 5 years ago, and since then these have been happening slowly until 2022, the year in which a fairly high number of them are expected to close. Telefónica has the objective of have closed all of them by 2025so it is a gradual process for which there is still some time.

This process will increase its pace in the coming years. This is mainly due to the latest review of broadband markets approved by the National Commission for Markets and Competition (or CNMC). This review had as one of its main objectives to take measures to facilitate the definitive migration of copper services to fiber optics, something that directly affects the copper plants with unbundled accesses.

central locks adsl unbundling

Evolution of power plant closures with unbundling (CNMC)

These accesses are what allowed other operators to provide services to consumers through Telefónica peers, and they are quite numerous in our country. There are a total of 835 of these copper plants, of which only 13 have currently closed. Until the measures adopted by the CNMC, these types of plants had a term of 5 years for their closure, but now they only have 2 yearsso we can expect a fairly considerable increase in the number of closures for 2023 and 2024.

Copper still has a lot to say

All these closures have a fairly obvious consequence, which is none other than the withdrawal of gigantic amounts of copper. It is estimated that Telefónica will have to dismantle a total of 65,000 tons of copper cablea material that has already fulfilled its functions for telecommunications, but that can be recycled over and over again without losing any of its properties in the process.

Telefónica has already notified the CNMC of the sale and subsequent lease of part of its copper pair network, a process that is regulated in article 17 of the General Telecommunications Law. This process does not exempt Telefónica from continuing to comply with its legal obligations on peers until they cease to apply, but it is a move by the Spanish operator so that all that copper can have a second life in the future.

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.