May 15, 2006 Bethesda, MD -- Worldwide fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) shipments increased 22% quarter-over-quarter and 180% from the same quarter last year, reveals a new study from Dittberner Associates, "Broadband Quarterly Shipment Analysis." Of the 925,000 FTTH subscribers added worldwide, 81.5% were in Japan.
The report also notes that 75% of the ports shipped support GePON (or EPON as it is known in the U.S.), which is the favored technology in Japan. The remaining 25% of ports shipped support BPON. While GPON has seen very small deployments, it is the basis of the RFP issued by AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth late last year and is expected to become the de facto standard in North America, say Dittberner analysts.
Japan is on target to add 3 million FTTH subscribers this year and plans to continue until 30 million homes are connected with fiber. European cities like Paris and Amsterdam have begun a number of public/private FTTH network efforts that have attracted the interest of large PTTs, such as France Telecom, which is planning its own FTTH rollout in Paris.
According to Dittberner analysis, the North American market is developing differently. Verizon has not slowed down its deployment of BPON products while it contemplates GPON, and it is experiencing a dramatic drop in the cost of FTTx deployment. Verizon now estimates that it will cost only $715 to connect a home with fiber in 2006, compared with $1,200 at the beginning of 2005. On the DSL front, operators are deploying legacy ADSL and delaying any large-scale DSL upgrade as they concentrate on attracting new subscribers with low cost DSL. Dittberner analysts believe that AT&T and BellSouth will follow Verizon's lead and deploy more FTTH while cutting back on their ambitious DSL upgrade plans, like AT&T's Project Lightspeed.
For more information about Dittberner's Broadband Study, part of the firm's ongoing quarterly market research service, visit the company's Web site at www.dittberner.com.