Sage study says fiber-to-desk use rising

Nov. 12, 2001
November 12, 2001 Although 25% of users have some fiber in the horizontal, UTP remains the most heavily deployed medium.

Nearly 25% of organizations now have multimode fiber in their horizontal networks, and that percentage will rise to 33% during the next two years, according to a recent survey of US businesses.

The report, "Fiber-to-the-Desktop: A Quantitative Analysis," was published by Sage Research, Inc. ( For the study, IT professionals from 129 US organizations were surveyed about present and planned use of cable types on the premises. These IT professionals primarily represent businesses with more than 100 employees, ranging to more than 10,000 employees.

"Our research shows that fiber-to-the-desktop is no longer restricted to early adopters - it is moving into the mainstream," says Kathryn Korostoff, Sage's president. "Despite this growth, however, there are significant factors that may affect even wider adoption of fiber-to-the-desktop. These include improvements to copper-based solutions, the perceived relative high-cost of fiber optic cabling, and wireless alternatives."

The report states that despite strong growth in multimode fiber use, Category 5 will remain the dominant cable type in the horizontal network through mid 2003. Even though Category 5 use will decline, 72% of organizations plan to still have at least some of it in their horizontal network in two years, the report states.

"Consistent with Sage's studies on network cabling over the past seven years, there is a strong preference for copper cabling, with many companies investing in next-generation copper products rather than choosing fiber," says Korostoff. "This current study reveals strong interest in Cat 6 products among those organizations planning cabling upgrades."

In addition to reporting about current and planned cabling types, the study also examines key drivers and deterrents to upgrading cabling infrastructure.

Sage Research, Inc., based in Natick, Mass., is a full-service market research firm providing demand-side research to IT vendors and Service Providers.

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