Fiber cable now reaches 42.5% of U.S. commercial buildings: Vertical Systems Group

The percentage of U.S. commercial buildings with direct fiber cable access rose to 42.5% in 2014, according to Vertical Systems Group. This represents almost a 4X increase in the last 10 years, the market research firm says.

The percentage of U.S. commercial buildings with direct access to fiber-optic networks rose to 42.5% in 2014, according to Vertical Systems Group. This represents almost a 4X increase in the last 10 years, the market research firm says.

The statistics cover company-owned and multi-tenant buildings with 20 or more employees, a group that includes more than 2 million individual business establishments, Vertical Systems Group says.

Fiber reached only 10.9% of U.S. commercial buildings in 2004. That figure reached 39.3% last year (see "Number of US businesses connected to a fiber-optic network nears 40%").

The majority of Carrier Ethernet service connections run through such building connections in the U.S., the market research firm says. However, operators also will leverage their fiber footprints for to deliver high-speed IP/MPLS VPN services and cloud and Internet connectivity. The infrastructure also is used for mobile backhaul.

"Accessibility to fiber-based business services in the U.S. nearly quadrupled between 2004 and 2014, with hundreds of thousands of sites newly fiber-connected during this time period. As a result of this growth, our fiber penetration benchmark now exceeds 40% for the first time," said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Looking forward, the high-stakes endgame for network operators is to deepen and broaden their service infrastructures around fiber – the future of wireline."

Operators appear to agree with Cochran's assessment. A recent Vertical Systems Group worldwide survey of Carrier Ethernet service providers revealed that respondents view fiber reach as the top competitive advantage overall. Expansion of their fiber-optic networks also was cited as their primary growth challenge for 2015.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.

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