Broadband competition heats up – too much?

July 8, 2022
All of these new broadband infrastructure roll outs are great for consumers. But might they prove too much of a good thing for service providers?

In a blog this past May, Ian Olgeirson and John Fletcher, analysts at Kagan, a media research group within the TMT offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence, posited that the U.S. broadband market will become a battle for market share as broadband penetration exceeds 90% of U.S. occupied households. Massive government funding programs aim to get that penetration rate closer to 100%, and thus we’ll see infrastructure expansion – much of it fiber – progress towards that goal.

But we’re also seeing infrastructure expansion for the sake of grabbing the market share the Kagan analysts discuss. Our cover story describes how some cable operators are using fiber deployments to enter new markets. The new satellite systems are getting a toehold in emergency services and rural access – but you can bet that’s not the only applications they were designed to address. Meanwhile, wireless operators such as T-Mobile also are rolling out mobile-based broadband offerings.

Such initiatives are great for consumers. But, the blog authors assert, “There simply are not enough subscribers to accommodate the growth ambitions of each segment.” Those who remember the Internet Bubble and all the carrier startups aiming for 40% of the long-haul market, might rightly shudder at those words.

We’re not at a point where we need to worry about a broadband fiber glut. But, taking all the different service provider segments together, it might not be too early to wonder whether the current roster of broadband services providers will shrink significantly over the next 10 years.

About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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