FTTH Council: Broadband subscribers still like FTTH

AUGUST 12, 2010 -- Consumer appreciation of fiber to the home (FTTH) services is steadily growing as satisfaction rates among those who subscribe to all-fiber networks continue to outpace those for other broadband access technologies such as cable modem and DSL, according to a new report commissioned by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council.

AUGUST 12, 2010 -- Consumer appreciation of fiber to the home (FTTH) services is steadily growing as satisfaction rates among those who subscribe to all-fiber networks continue to outpace those for other broadband access technologies such as cable modem and DSL, according to a new report commissioned by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council.

The survey of more than 1,000 FTTH subscribers and 600 other broadband subscribers, drawn randomly from an online panel of more than 50,000 consumers by the research firm RVA LLC, found that 41 percent of broadband subscribers recognize the term "fiber to the home," compared to 28 percent who did so in a similar survey in 2009 (see "FTTH Council survey shows high satisfaction with fiber").

Meanwhile, 71 percent of FTTH subscribers report that they are "very satisfied" with their Internet service, compared with 53 percent for cable modem subscribers and 52 percent for DSL. And with regard to high-definition television performance, 73 percent of FTTH TV subscribers say they are "very satisfied," compared with 61 percent for satellite customers and 45 percent for cable television subscribers.

The survey, which also asked respondents to measure and report the speed of their Internet connectivity via www.speakeasy.net, found that average FTTH download and upload speeds continue to stay well ahead of cable and DSL. Based on these reports, FTTH currently has a median download speed of 16.6 Mbps and an upload speed of 4.5 Mbps, an increase of 219 percent for download and 350 percent for upload speeds over the three years RVA has conducted this survey.

Compared to tests from consumers with other types of broadband, FTTH download speeds on average are 1.5X faster than cable modem download speeds, and 5.7X faster than the median DSL download speeds. In terms of upload speeds, FTTH is 3.2X faster than cable modem and 5.7X faster than DSL.

As of April 2010, FTTH were available to more than 16 percent of North American homes and were connected to nearly six million of them, the council says.

In response to an open-ended question in this latest consumer survey, FTTH subscribers identified Internet speed, video picture clarity, and consistency of results as the top benefits of their all-fiber service, according to the council. The survey also found that a wide variety of potentially high-bandwidth applications are currently accessed over fiber, led by shopping from home, gaming, and uploading large files. Advanced applications, such as two-way video conferencing, are also increasing in use.

A total of 13 percent of FTTH users report operating a home-based business, of which 75 percent are reportedly more efficient or wouldn't be possible without FTTH. Based on survey input regarding revenues received from home-based business, RVA estimates that increased efficiencies from FTTH may already add as much as $9.9 billion to the US home-based business economy.

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