Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) installations increased by well over 200% in the past 12 months, according to "U.S. Optical Fiber Communities 2002," a new list released today by the FTTH Council (available at www.ftthcouncil.org). The list details 50 communities in 16 states that are leading the nation into the all-optical communications revolution of the future.
The FTTH Council, which released the list in advance of its quarterly meeting in Park City, UT next week, is a nonprofit organization established to educate the public on the opportunities and benefits of FTTH solutions. The versatility and unlimited bandwidth of optical fiber brings not only crystal-clear communications and entertainment to communities, but also life-changing applications such as telecommuting, telemedicine, and distance learning.
"U.S. Optical Fiber Communities 2002" highlights the fact that FTTH, once considered a technology of the future, is now a reality. Industry leaders note that FTTH deployments are growing rapidly due to two factors--reduced costs for FTTH systems that place fiber on par with copper or coaxial cable and increased homeowner demand.
"For homeowners, the benefits of FTTH typically start with fiber's ability to converge traditional services such as phone, cable TV, high-speed Internet connectivity, and security into one convenient and affordable package," contends James Salter, president of the FTTH Council.
Many new housing developments are installing FTTH in Houston and Austin, TX, where several thousand homes have now been passed with fiber. With numerous high-tech corporations in this region, many employees there can now take advantage of FTTH technology to telecommute, avoiding wasted hours on crowded highways.
Western Kansas provider Rural Telephone Service Co., Inc. began working with fiber more than a decade ago in an attempt to boost population and business growth for the local economy. One of the company's first fiber projects included the development of a two-way interactive video network for local schools, a valuable education and training tool that today links ten schools and a community college. In 1996, the company completed an FTTH project in Hill City, and since then has developed three more through its subsidiary Nex-Tech in Osborne, Norton, and Almena, overall delivering FTTH services to more than 3,000 homes and businesses.
"Consumer response to FTTH has been excellent in our area, with subscribership exceeding 90 percent of potential customers," asserts Larry Sevier, Rural Telephone's chief executive officer and general manager.
Also highlighted in the FTTH Council list are four rural counties in Washington State-- Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Mason Counties--where some residents did not have basic telephone service until the counties' municipal utilities deployed FTTH networks. The Grant County Public Utility District (GCPUD) has passed more than 7,000 homes with fiber, with 2,600 households already subscribing to FTTH services and many more awaiting hook-up. Grant County plans to reach more than 35,000 homes and businesses by 2005. Since the build, five new businesses have been attracted to the area, creating 96 new jobs and $8 million in economic development.
"U.S. Optical Fiber Communities 2002," is one part of a comprehensive Fiber-to-the-Home market study being conducted by Render, Vanderslice & Associates of Tulsa, OK. To view the list, visit www.ftthcouncil.org. An in-depth overview of the entire study will be available at no additional charge to attendees at the first-ever Fiber-to-the-Home Conference on October 15-17 in New Orleans, LA. For more information, visit www.ftthconference.com.