Short Answer: Yes.
Long Answer, how I remember it:
The original premise behind FTTD started in the mid-1990’s when FDDI, Token Ring and ATM were the dominant technologies. FDDI in particular was a leading contender for desktop use. The Ethernet of the day was 10Base5 and that was really difficult to work with for desktops.
Cable companies wanted to charge higher prices for their cabling. They invented an idea of “20 year cabling” where you could capitalise/depreciate the cable costs instead of writing them off as a consumable. The sales team were equipped with messaging, lies and statistics that showed how a company could use fibre for any future technology and proceeded to flog the stuff to anyone who would listen.
This went over pretty well with companies who were moving into new buildings. They demanded that the landlord install this 20-year FTTD as part of the rental agreement. The landlord didn’t care, its just money and there was a lot of sales there.
Two things happened. First, businesses started selling their buildings as the fashion for owning property came to an end and began renting (can we say cloud everyone ?) and realised that cabling cost rather a lot of money if you keep moving every 5-10 years.
Two, people quickly realised that Ethernet over copper coaxial (10Base2) was MUCH cheaper than fibre optics NICs. Lets say it was 90% cheaper and a lot easier to install. I wasted many hours of my life cutting and crimping coaxial connectors because it was quicker than finding a cabling contractor. It was cheap, easy and we carried a kit of parts and cable in the back of our cars. (remember, the motto of Ethernet is “cheap always wins”)
You see, back in those days fibre optic required specialist installers and fusion splicers cost upwards of $100K and there were limited supplies. A new fibre run could take a couple of months, and repairing a break would take weeks. These “fibre specialists” made out like bandits for a few years before the game was up.
This was quickly followed by Cat3 copper, 10BaseT and hubs. The up-cycle to Ethernet over Cat5 for 100BaseTX (100BaseT1, 100BaseT2 didn’t last very long, didn’t work very well while 100BaseT4 had a run for a while to re-use that Cat3 ).
Shielded copper cabling put an end to most high security FTTD deployments. European cablers were convinced by vendors of the day that unshielded twisted pair copper was the work of the devil and obviously would subject to electromagnetic interference. (Hint: it wasn’t as you well know, thats what the twists are for). A good shielded Cat5 copper cable was generally regarded as enough to prevent tapping by radio and physical cable tap was quite difficult to do and easier to detect.
Today, people don’t like fibre optic for high security work because it very hard to detect when the cable is spliced/tapped (and because of the cost). Detecting the signal loss is way hard because its so small. Military use of fibre is related to reliability and ease of deployment in the field for their specific use cases. Armoured fibre is quite a bit tougher compared to copper I’m told.
In my opinion, FTTD died off in early 2000’s. The fact that you are even talking about suggests that your employer is way behind the technology curve.
Edit: GPON & Passive Optical
Yes I am aware of GPON and other forms of passive optical which make big promises about reducing the cost of FTTD. From feedback I’ve received, GPON may be able to reduce the capital spend for cabling by reducing the amount of active network equipment such as Ethernet switches.
There are substantial problems in operation and troubleshooting a GPON system. Because the splitters are passive its not possible to detect faults or monitor the system. Network troubleshooting requires a site visit by a optical expert with specialist fibre optic testing equipment.
The cost of PON endpoints is also a problem. Again, acquisition costs are low but detecting problem with ethernet connected endpoints and determining computer/network interactions is a costly activity.
EDIT: Here is an typical article from 2002 listing the virtues of FTTD. IMC Networks was a fibre optic converter vendor so its likely they were pimping their business:
This document from a university is exactly how I remember it. Full of superior attitudes that the best solution was the only solution. We know how that story ends in IT, cheap always wins.