Service providers in the United States set a record for new fiber to the home (FTTH) deployments between September 2016 and September 2017, according to the Fiber Broadband Association (formerly the FTTH Council North America) and its research partner, RVA, LLC. Canadian carriers also aggressively rolled out FTTH infrastructure during the same time period, the research reveals.
New FTTH "homes marketed" (a category roughly equivalent to homes passed) in the U.S. hit 4.4 million in the U.S. RVA's president, Mike Render, revealed December 19 during a webcast used to release the study results. The figure is the highest since RVA began keeping tabs, eclipsing the 4.2 million homes passed in 2008 at the height of Verizon's FTTH roll out. Overall, 34.5 million U.S. homes have access to FTTH-delivered services – approximately 30% of all homes in the country – with 15.4 million connected at the end of September 2017.
The majority of FTTH deployments continue to come from Tier 1 service providers such as AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink, Render reported. However, smaller service providers (including cable companies) continue increase their FTTH activities as well, he said. In fact, growth among smaller operators slightly edged that among large service providers, 16.5% to 14.1%.
Canada saw a higher percentage of growth than in the U.S. during the reporting period, with FTTH homes marketed increasing 45%, the research indicates. Overall, service providers in Canada are marketing FTTH-enabled services to 5 million homes (37% of total homes), with 1.9 million connected. FTTH networks also pass 19% of the homes in Mexico, Render added.
Render's research underscored the increasing use of FTTH to offer gigabit services. He said that 87% of the top eight service providers now offer gigabit services. Smaller operators also are joining this wave, with 37% offering gigabit now and another 30% planning to add gigabit services within the next two years.
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