UK broadband networks may be wrongly valued by up to 20%


UK broadband providers may be inaccurately valuing their businesses by up to 20 percent because they don’t have the right oversight of their networks, leaders of the UK’s alt net sector have been told today.

The industry’s typical approach to the designing, building and operating of a fibre network can result in poorer quality of data being gathered, this is because of the multiple systems that are used across the network lifecycle. The lack of an integrated network information system can also cause delays to build and, ultimately, lost revenue.

“The traditional approach to the lifecycle management of a network is silo based. This means different people, sometimes from different companies, are using different systems throughout the lifecycle. This process is error prone, lacks efficiency, and lowers the quality of the data for every step”, said Digpro’s Joel Pirard at the annual INCA Conference in Liverpool.

Inefficient data collection can cause inaccurate network potential valuations and estimates of how much capital needs to be invested into the network. According to Mr Pirard, this can lead to value under or over estimations of up to 20 percent. Inaccurate valuations can also cause problems like under or overvalued bids for networks.

“To avoid this, companies should embrace a Digital Twin for their network”, said Mr Pirard. “A Digital Twin creates a simulated replica of the network and can provide much of the information that investors, for example, would want to know.”

The Digital Twin clearly provides the data for a network owner to explain what they have invested in. Additionally, an investor might want to know where the network is, how it is connected, who the end-customer is, and the committed uptime. A Digital Twin will provide that information in a structured way.

The network model is continuously refined by all parts of the business as it is being built and updated. It is also used to expand and improve the network. All of this matters when looking at the value of the network. This is also of great importance when analysing how much it will cost to expand the network versus the revenue it will bring in.

“The network model, and the Digital Twin created from it, is the heart of the fibre network business. It is incredibly useful for all sizes of suppliers, from the largest national companies to the smaller more local businesses, as well as regional alt nets. With the Digital Twin, UK broadband providers will not only be able to estimate what the network is worth today, but also how much it will be worth in the future”, said Mr Pirard.