Report: US businesses lag in fiber network connectivity

However, broader accessibility to on-net fiber has started to shake up the services markets, reports Vertical Systems Group.

Market research firm Vertical Systems Group says that 39.3% of businesses in the United States with at least 20 employees can access services via a fiber-optic network connection.

This figure represents an improvement of just over 3% from the 36.1% total of 2012.

The remaining 60.7% of buildings reside in what Vertical Systems Group refers to as “The Fiber Gap.”

“During the past year, network operators narrowed the business fiber gap through construction and acquisitions," explains Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "The majority of new fiber deployments were focused on connecting medium and smaller buildings in the metro areas surrounding major cities across the U.S."

See also: Chart shows who dominates 1 Gbps FTTP industry

Fiber cable is the optimal wireline access technology for delivery of higher-speed network services, the market research firm asserts. Carrier Ethernet and IP/MPLS VPNs, cloud and Internet connectivity, and mobile backhaul applications would all benefit from fiber connections, the company says.

“Broader accessibility to on-net fiber has started to shake up the services markets," adds Vertical's Cochran. "Fiber-based providers and cable MSOs are capitalizing on the reach and cost advantages of their footprints juxtaposed to legacy infrastructures. Customers are reaping the benefits of more service options, more competitive pricing, and faster service installations.”

The business connection statistics come from the @Fiber research track of Vertical Systems Group’s ENS (Emerging Networks Service). The research covers 2004 through 2013, and includes quantification by customer segment (large enterprise and SMB) and four building sizes (20-50 employees, 51-100 employees, 101-250 employees, >250 employees).


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