Report: Fiber-connected consumers snap up consumer electronics

July 13, 2006 Tulsa, OK -- The demand for high-definition (HD) televisions, wireless equipment, computers, and other consumer devices is growing as a result of the super-fast fiber-optic broadband service now becoming available in the United States, according to survey information released today by RVA Market Research.

July 13, 2006 Tulsa, OK -- The demand for high-definition (HD) televisions, wireless equipment, computers, and other consumer devices is growing as a result of the super-fast fiber-optic broadband service now becoming available in the United States, according to survey information released today by RVA Market Research.

The new data shows 15% of consumers with a direct fiber-optic connection indicated they had purchased an HD television specifically to take advantage of programming available on their high-capacity fiber connection. Others reported purchases of wireless networking equipment, computers, inside home wiring, and cameras.

RVA principal Michael Render states that such purchases are made by consumers who have chosen fiber connections because they want higher Internet speeds, multiple services from a single supplier, or more TV channel choices. In the longer term, many consumers are extremely interested in the promise of future applications enabled by these very high bandwidth connections.

Based on recent consumer surveys, 80% of those with direct fiber connections (and 78% of broadband users in general) say they would be interested in one or more futuristic applications, with over half saying they were interested in five or more of the new applications reviewed.

Average interest was highest for information/communications applications and advanced entertainment options, followed closely by lifestyle applications, including face-to-face interaction with doctors and nurses from home. User content applications, such as personal television stations and advanced multiplayer gaming, appeal to a smaller, but more dedicated group. The study found that interest in new applications varies widely by age and other factors.

"It appears that consumer electronics makers and broadband application developers will be big winners with next-generation broadband," notes Render. "The deployment of fiber deeper in the network is opening up a vast array of potential new revenue streams."

RVA reports that while 43% of Americans now have some type of broadband connection, less than 1% have advanced broadband through direct fiber. While this percentage is small, growth is rapid, with annual increases in fiber-connected homes exceeding 200%.

The new study noted that more than four million American homes now have access to a direct fiber connection, with millions of additional homes being passed with fiber every year. Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) began to grow dramatically following the 2003 decision of Verizon Communications to begin deploying the technology in its service area. AT&T also is deploying FTTH in some areas, as are a number of rural telephone companies, municipalities, and real estate developers. FTTH Internet bandwidth often reaches 30- to 100-Mbits/sec, far higher than current DSL or cable modem, and has unequalled future bandwidth potential.

For more information about the report, visit www.RVALLC.com.

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