North America's FTTH numbers continue to grow, according to the most recent figures announced by the FTTH Council (www.ftthcouncil.org) and RVA Market Research (www.rvallc.com). The number of homes in North America connected to an FTTH network stood at 4.4 million as of the end of March, according to an RVA study the council released last month.
That figureâ��which equates to 4% of the North American marketâ��represents a 52% increase from the same time in 2008 and an 18% increase since September 2008, the last time the two parties issued figures. Meanwhile, the number of homes passed by fiber networks increased from 13.8 million to 15.2 million since September. That means FTTH-based services are now available to more than 13% of North American households.
Apparently dissatisfied with the results of a request for proposals for the country's planned National Broadband Network (NBN), Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced the Australian Government will take the matter into its own hands. Prime Minister Rudd surprised observers when he announced his government would set up a company to build and operate the NBN, a project expected to cost AUS$43 billion (approximately US$30 billion) over eight years starting in 2010. FTTP is expected to play a major role in the project.
The government will be the largest shareholder, but “significant private sector investment in the company is anticipated,” according to a press statement. The Building Australia Fund and the issuance of “Aussie Infrastructure Bonds” will provide the capital for the government's initial investment, expected to be AUS$4.7 billion. The government then plans to sell at least some of its interest within five years after completion.