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April 27, 2006

Fiber-to-the-Home Deployments Rising, But U.S. Still Has a Long Way to Go

Patrick Barnard, TMCnet Associate Editor


Although broadband penetration in the U.S. still trails France, North Korea and Scandinavia by far, there has been a significant increase in the number of Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployments in the past year.

According to an updated list of “U.S. Optical Fiber Communities” recently released by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), approximately 671,000 homes in the U.S. were connected to an FTTH network during the past six months - a 107 percent increase since October 2005.

The research finds that 936 communities in 47 states are now served by FTTH networks - 280 of which were added since October. Further analysis shows more than four million homes have been passed with fiber, marking a 50 percent increase in the last six months.

The list, which was prepared by Render, Vanderslice and Associates, tracks communities nationwide that are delivering broadband services to residential customers through FTTH solutions.

“These numbers are a big success in terms of public policy,” said Matt Flanigan, TIA president, in a press release. “Over the last few years, federal policymakers have recognized the value of removing barriers to next generation broadband deployment, such as lifting unbundling obligations on FTTH. These decisions are having a very positive effect, although we still have a long way to go to ensure that all Americans have the bandwidth they need for tomorrow’s applications.”

Flanagan added that these deployments are also important to ensure that the U.S. keeps pace with broadband deployments in other nations, “given the competitiveness of the global economy.”

FTTH Council President Joe Savage said the list demonstrates increased demand for unlimited bandwidth.

“Interest in FTTH is increasing across the board - large and small telecom companies, municipalities, real estate developers and consumers,” Savage said in the release. “All are recognizing the value of future-proof bandwidth availability, so we expect FTTH deployment to continue to grow dramatically.”

To see a copy of the list, visit TIA’s website at
www.tiaonline.org. Or download it from the FTTH Council’s website at http://www.ftthcouncil.org/documents/959055.pdf.

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Patrick Barnard is Associate Editor for TMCnet and a columnist covering the telecom industry. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.

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