FTTH Conference & Expo opens with strong attendance, focus on industry growth

SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 -- Despite the economic downturn, registration for the conference and trade show matches the totals for the previous two years.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 -- Under the banner "Building the Business of FTTH," the 2009 Fiber to the Home Conference & Expo opened today in Houston with attendance as strong as ever for the year's biggest FTTH event, say event organizers. Despite the economic downturn, registration for the conference and trade show matches the totals for the previous two years.

The event targets providers of next-generation all-fiber services, telecoms that are exploring running fiber all the way to their customers, and key decision makers from optical access equipment manufacturers and other segments of the broadband industry. It will run through Sept. 30 at the Hilton-Americas Houston and the George R. Brown Convention Center.

An advanced "telemedicine" system, designed for delivery over all-fiber networks, will be demonstrated in the Expo Hall by Houston's St. Joseph Medical Center and the company MedConcierge.

"The excellent turnout this year is indicative of how strong the movement is among telecom service providers to upgrade to end-to-end fiber networks," says Joe Savage, president of the Fiber-to-the-Home Council, the organizer of the event. "While the telecommunications industry may be grappling with a number of economic issues at this time, it is clear from the popularity of this conference that -- recession or not -- the march to all-fiber is not slowing down."

Fiber-to-the-home networks, which are capable of delivering higher Internet connection speeds and better-quality video services, now pass nearly 15% of North American homes, with more than 4.4 million of them connected with end-to-end fiber as of March 2009. An update on the subscriber estimates will be released this week during the conference.

This year's event emphasizes the task of generating revenues from next-generation FTTH networks and building subscriber loyalty in today's competitive marketplace. It includes keynote speeches by Dick Lynch, chief technology officer of Verizon, the nation's largest FTTH deployer; and Jessica Zufolo, Deputy Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a key agency in distributing broadband stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The conference will also serve as a one-stop information center on the ARRA broadband initiatives program. In a number of presentations and panel discussions, the FTTH Council, which has been instrumental in shaping the stimulus legislation and programs, will shed light on the evolving process and procedures for accessing the funds made available through the programs.

Among the more than 50 track sessions are presentations covering marketing, financial, and technology issues, in addition to a broad range of case studies, best practices, and success stories. Special panels will feature industry leaders in discussions of legislative and regulatory issues, MDU considerations, and marketing for success. The Expo Hall, featuring more than 130 vendors and suppliers from all corners of the FTTH industry, will provide the latest solutions in FTTH services, content, and technology.

New to this year's conference will be presentations offered in Spanish and Portuguese covering issues specific to Latin America. The FTTH Council's recently launched Latin America chapter will hold its second meeting during the conference, which is expected to attract increased attendance from South America and other parts of the globe.


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