March 5, 2008 -- The industry research firm Parks Associates forecasts that by 2012, close to 33 million U.S. households will have broadband services with speeds of 10 Mbit/sec or higher, capable of streaming high-definition video. The firm's latest research finds that, at year-end 2007, 5.7 million, or 9% of U.S. broadband households, had such speeds.
"Until recently, telecom operators' aggressive deployment of deep fiber services and the competitive reaction from cable MSOs fueled the growth of high-bandwidth broadband services," comments Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, director of broadband and gaming at Parks Associates. "As consumer excitement over pure bandwidth subsides, however, service providers will have to deliver appealing, bandwidth-intensive, value-added services such as HD video streaming and content place shifting in order to retain customers and increase ARPU."
Investment in new broadband technologies such as FTTX and DOCSIS 3.0 and the growing breadth of broadband entertainment content are key market drivers, reveals the firm. However, the firm warns that service providers' missteps in bandwidth management practices, uncertainty around "network neutrality," and the contentious relationship between facility-based broadband service providers and over-the-top Internet companies may slow progress.
"If high-bandwidth broadband services fail to reach mass-market consumers, the United States may lose its competitive edge in the next round of technology innovation," continues Cai. "Such a scenario would be unpleasant."
Parks Associates' "North American Broadband Market Update" highlights current broadband market conditions, analyzes significant events impacting future development, addresses the outlook for fiber and other alternative access methods, and examines the market potential of value-added services. The research also profiles consumer perspectives regarding broadband and value-added services, and forecasts future growth.