FTTH supply chain issues easing: Fiber Broadband Association

May 2, 2023
The data shows improvements across the board, including a 92% reduction in lead times for fiber-optic cable since last fall.

The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) has updated the “Strategies to Mitigate Bottlenecks in the Current Fiber Broadband Supply Chain,” white paper it published for its members last September with new data that suggests supply chain issues within the fiber to the home (FTTH) space have eased significantly. The data shows improvements across the board, including a 92% reduction in lead times for fiber-optic cable since last fall.

Lead times and other indicators of supply chain efficiency have shown marked improvement since last fall, the new data indicates:

  • the 92% decrease in minimum lead times for fiber-optic cables marks an improvement from the 52-60 weeks experienced in Summer 2022 to 4-10 weeks as of March 2023
  • a 60% decrease in minimum lead times for fiber cabinets and splitters (from 10-20 weeks in Summer 2022 to 4-8 weeks as of March 2023)
  • an 80% decrease in minimum lead times for fiber multiport terminals (from 20-35 weeks in Summer 2022 to 4-8 weeks as of March 2023)
  • an 80% decrease in minimum lead times for conduit (from 15-20 weeks in Summer 2022 to 3-7 weeks as of March 2023)
  • an 64% decrease in minimum lead times for hand holes (from 22-26 weeks in Summer 2022 to 8-14 weeks as of March 2023)
  • a 67% decrease in minimum lead times for home equipment (from 12-24 weeks in Summer 2022 to 4-10 weeks as of March 2023).

“Our supply chain white paper serves as an important resource for FBA members to mitigate supply chain challenges and accelerate fiber broadband deployments, so it is crucial that we provide the most up-to-date information and strategies,” said Scott Jackson, national broadband market manager at Graybar, FBA board member, and chair of the FBA’s Supply Chain Working Group, authors of the report. “Beyond statistics, it also provides recommendations on how to pursue stronger partnerships, long-range planning, high-level design optimization, changing how companies recruit and train their labor force, and smarter technology options to plan and maintain stocking levels.”

“This latest supply chain information is encouraging for fiber broadband providers today that are building reliable, high-speed fiber broadband networks to connect their communities and close the digital equity gap,” added Gary Bolton, president and CEO of the FBA. “However, our Supply Chain Working Group does caution that while it is reporting current relief in the supply chain, it expects to see an uptick in demand going forward. Therefore, it encourages companies to continue to put a hard focus on long-range planning and to follow FBA mitigation strategies presented in the white paper.”

The FBA will host a webinar to review the updates to the “Strategies to Mitigate Bottlenecks in the Current Fiber Broadband Supply Chain” white paper on May 9, 2023, at 11:00 AM EDT.

For related articles, visit the FTTx Topic Center.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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