The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) has a history of studies it does on the industry, including 2023’s FTTH growth. In a recent FBA press release, the association reveals the findings of its study conducted by Cartesian, which shows the industry’s benchmark to aid fiber broadband service providers in assessing their cost profile and pinpoint areas of inefficiency. According to the study, on average, labor was the most prominent in underground build and aerial costs, with labor being 73% of underground build costs and 67% of aerial costs.
Deborah Kish, Vice President of Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association, commented on understanding the costs stating, “As broadband providers across the country look to leverage public and private funding to connect communities to high-quality broadband services, understanding the cost variables of deployment remains a vital component to broadband plans and proposals.”
She continued, mentioning the importance of the study, “Our annual Fiber Deployment Survey uncovers fiber cost benchmarks and how costs change over time—information that is critical for broadband providers and state broadband offices as they prepare competitive applications for NTIA BEAD funding to connect their communities to reliable fiber broadband services.”
The 2023 Fiber Deployment Study included a variety of survey respondents from network operators and municipal broadband providers to utility/electric cooperatives, prime contractors, and subcontractors. “The study explored many factors that influence cost but often make it challenging to compare costs across deployments. This includes cost components like labor, materials, build scenarios, and the choice of construction method.”
Although deployment projects all have unique elements, the Fiber Broadband Association’s study found some common themes that it will be discussing with Cartesian in a webinar on January 24th 2024 at 11 AM ET. Among the themes are the high percentage of build costs going toward labor, population density, region, and more.
Regarding 2024, 58% of respondents believed material costs would increase and many anticipated engineering and permit costs to decrease.