The roadblocks to fiber-to-the-home deployment are regulatory issues, funding and lack of consumer understanding.
But national broadband policies and the growing desire for more broadband will drive the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) growth.
That was the general consensus from the Fiber-to-the-Home Conference & Expo, held in New Orleans in October. The conference was sponsored by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council. Many of the speakers at the conference argued that FTTH represents some optimism for an industry that has slowed greatly during the past two years.
"Despite negative telecom news, broadband is the light at the end of the tunnel," says Bob Whitman, global development manager international for Corning Inc. (www.corning.com), based in Corning, NY.
During the three-day conference, attendees learned how most of the countries where FTTH is flourishing have national broadband policies that foster its development. Internationally, Asia remains one of the leading sectors of the world where FTTH is deployed, with Japan having the highest concentration. China, where online gaming enthusiasm is driving the demand for FTTH, also remains committed. The country is investing $543 million in broadband infrastructure this year alone and bringing 67% FTTH growth year over year to the country. Italy has the lowest deployment, with only 2% penetration.
North America, by comparison, is in the early years of adoption. Whitman describes a "slow but steady" progression of FTTH here. He notes that with more than 280 million people living in America, there are to date only 94 FTTH deployments nationwide. But that is expected to change. "We are at the early years of very strong growth," says Whitman.
For the full story, see the November issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine.