FTTH Council: 4.4 million homes connected with FTTH in North America

APRIL 7, 2009 By Stephen Hardy -- North America's FTTH numbers continue to grow, according to the most recent figures announced by the FTTH Council and RVA Market Research.

APRIL 7, 2009 By Stephen Hardy -- North America's FTTH numbers continue to grow, according to the most recent figures announced by the FTTH Council (search Lightwave for the FTTH Council) and RVA Market Research (search Lightwave for RVA). The number of homes in North America connected to an FTTH network stood at 4.4 million as of the end of March, according to an RVA study the council released today.

That figure -- which equates to 4% of the North American market -- represents a 52% increase from the same time in 2008 and an 18% increase since September 2008, the last time the two parties issued figures. Meanwhile, the number of homes passed by fiber networks increased from 13.8 million to 15.2 million since September. That means FTTH-based services are now available to more than 13 percent of North American households.

Service take rates overall stood at 31.8%, up from 30.4% last September. While take rates among non-RBOC carriers remained essentially flat at 52.6%, RBOC take rates grew by approximately 2% versus September to reach 27%. The number of homes receiving video services over FTTH is up 62 percent over the past year, from 1.6 million in March 2008 to nearly 2.7 million this year.

In a webinar held today, Michael Render, president of RVA, said that most of the growth in the FTTH market is concentrated among one-third of the United States -- primarily those areas Verizon and small rural carriers serve. While the economy doesn't appear to have had a significant dampening effect on the FTTH market as a whole in Render's opinion, he allowed that the drop in the new housing market has affected the greenfield strategies of some RBOCs as well as companies such as integrators that focus on the home developer market.

Render also said that the Broadband Stimulus Plan has actually put the brakes on some projects as organizers stop to consider whether they might be eligible for federal funding. However, he expects the plan to have a positive impact on the market by the end of this year.

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