The Decommissioning copper networks: operator case studies

By decommissioning copper, fixed operators can reduce opex, release meaningful amounts of cash, and run their businesses more sustainably. The process of decommissioning copper can, however, be painfully slow. This report provides case studies for six operators that are at various stages in the process of going copper-free, and draws conclusions about good practice.

By decommissioning copper, fixed operators typical opex savings (independent of one-off cash for property and scrap copper) could equate to about 20% of existing EBITDA per line.


  • How quickly should operators migrate their customers to FTTP (or fixed-wireless access (FWA)) coverage?
  • What level of cost savings can be made, both in terms of opex and cash release?
  • To what degree do price incentives motivate decommissioning?
  • How soon should operators communicate changes to retail and wholesale customers, and other stakeholders?
  • How are regulators approaching issues around copper decommissioning?


The following companies are featured in case studies.

  • Chorus (New Zealand)
  • Jersey Telecom
  • KCOM (UK)
  • Telefónica
  • Telkom South Africa
  • Verizon (USA)

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