U.S. FTTH connections continue to accelerate

April 5, 2007
APRIL 5, 2007 -- The FTTH Council and the TIA this week released findings of a new study that puts the number of U.S. homes passed by fiber at 7.9 million.

APRIL 5, 2007 -- The number of U.S. homes receiving video, Internet, and voice services over direct fiber-optic connections has doubled over the past year, reveals a new report sponsored by the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council (search for FTTH Council) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (search for TIA).

According to the study, 1.34 million homes are now connected to the Internet via end-to-end fiber, with fiber now passing 7.9 million homes. This compares to 671,000 connections and 4.1 million homes passed as of March 2006.
Further, the study shows that FTTH (search for FTTH) is being installed by a range of incumbent and competitive providers, not just large telephone companies. Accounting for more than 430,000 FTTH subscribers are small rural telephone companies, medium-sized telephone service providers and cable companies, private facilities-based competitive local exchange carriers, and public entities such as municipalities and public utilities.
"While Verizon is by far the largest single provider of fiber-to-the-home services, our figures show that there are more than 340 companies serving customers with these ultra high bandwidth services," reports Mike Render of RVA Market Research , author of the study. "In fact, small rural telephone companies are actually leading the way in terms of penetration--with three percent of their combined customer base now connected via fiber-to-the-home."
Render noted that while the U.S. continues to lag behind Japan in the total number of homes connected to FTTH, it has taken a commanding lead in terms of the growth rate in direct fiber-optic connections.
"Clearly, America's need for speed is driving sustainable, accelerated growth in the deployment of high-bandwidth fiber to homes across the country," adds Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council. "We expect this rate of growth will continue as an increasing number of Americans discover the ease with which video entertainment, gaming, and data applications are delivered through fiber-enabled connections."
"Demand for broadband and high-speed services is fueling growth in the U.S. and global telecommunications markets," notes TIA President Grant Seiffert. "In fact, according to TIA's 2007 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast, the U.S. telecommunications market grew 9.3% in 2006--its fastest rate since 2000--and the worldwide telecommunications market grew 11.2 percent. This study reinforces a major trend in our industry, namely investment in new fiber, new IP technology, and new wireless infrastructure to provide state-of-the-art voice, video, and data services."

Both organizations have urged policymakers to reduce barriers to next-generation broadband deployment, with the FTTH Council recently calling on the U.S. government to adopt a strategy for universal access to broadband connections at transmission speeds of 100 Mbits/sec.Â

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