North American FTTH connections surge past 5 million

SEPTEMBER 20, 2009 -- The FTTH Council and RVA Market Research report that FTTH networks are now available to 15% of homes.

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SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 -- The number of North American fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) subscribers now stands at more than 5.3 million, as deployers of end-to-end fiber networks continue to add more than 1.5 million customers a year, according to a study released by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council.

The study, which was conducted by RVA Market Research and was presented at the 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo in Houston, TX, also found continued robust growth in the number of homes passed by FTTH networks, which rose to 17.2 million from 13.8 million a year ago. Five years after their deployment began in earnest, FTTH are now available to 15% percent of homes in North America.

"The march to all-fiber networks is showing no sign of letting up in the United States and Canada," says Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council, which promotes and tracks the growth of fiber to the home in North America. "Given the growing sophistication and bandwidth requirements of online and video applications, as well as the high satisfaction that current FTTH subscribers are expressing about their fiber service, the growing consumer demand for end-to-end fiber is now a fact of life and something that our members are working hard to satisfy."

In addition to the 5.33 million homes connected to FTTH, the study found that the overall "take rate" -- the percentage of those offered FTTH service who decide to subscribe -- went up for the seventh straight six-month period, with the vast majority of providers experiencing take rates of greater than 50%.

Led by Verizon's massive investment in FTTH technology in the deployment of its FiOS service, the FTTH industry in North America also includes hundreds of smaller telephone companies and other network providers, municipalities, planned residential communities, and cable television companies that are making the move to end-to-end fiber to deliver next-generation video, Internet, and voice services. Given the almost unlimited bandwidth of fiber, FTTH technology is seen as an ideal way of "futureproofing" networks in light of the increasing consumer and business demand for faster networks and higher-bandwidth applications.

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