Study: FTTH drives telecom savings

Small and medium-sized carriers in North America say they’ve seen an average opex savings of 20.4% annually, says FTTH Council study.

As noted by CI&M's sister site, Lightwave, Verizon has long touted operational expenditure (opex) savings as a rationale for its FiOS fiber to the home (FTTH) deployments. And as it turns out, smaller carriers have seen similar benefits, according to a recent study by RVA LLC for the Fiber to the Home Council Americas (FTTH Council).

Small and medium-sized carriers in North America say they’ve seen an average opex savings of 20.4% annually, the study reports. The study included input from more than 350 fiber-optic network service providers across North America. The council released the study’s results as it offered its semi-annual report on FTTH installations in North America.

"This latest survey shows not only the continued build-out of high-bandwidth fiber to the home networks in North America, but also provides one reason why hundreds of small and medium sized telcos have been upgrading to fiber -- it saves them real money in the long run," comments Heather Burnett Gold, the FTTH Council's president.

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The opex savings likely is one reason that FTTH infrastructure continues to roll out across the continent. RVA and the council report that, as of the end of March, the number of North American homes with access to services from FTTH networks has grown 17.6%, to 22.7 million, versus the same time last year. Greenfield deployments have picked up by about 20% this year as well, the council and RVA reveal. Meanwhile, North America’s FTTH subscriber count has grown 20% year-on-year to reach 9.7 million.

"While it is clear from our survey that many prospective FTTH providers continue to face funding difficulties and regulatory uncertainty, many are still finding ways to upgrade to all-fiber because doing so reduces their maintenance costs and strengthens their opportunities to expand their subscriber base and offer customers more services," said Michael Render, president of RVA.

While Verizon and Canada’s Bell Aliant are the two largest FTTH players, the council says it has identified almost 600 small and medium-sized telephone companies and nearly 100 municipalities that use FTTH to some degree. Growth in FTTH deployments and subscribers is particularly strong in Canada. Approximately 540,000 Canadians receive services via FTTH, according to the new figures.

RVA estimates that 8.8 million homes in the United States are connected to FTTH networks, while about 310,000 customers in Mexico and 30,000 subscribers in the Caribbean receive services from fiber-optic networks. Take rates also are growing. In the United States, FTTH take rates have reached 44.8%, a record according to RVA.

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