FTTH connections seen booming

April 11, 2008 -- A study released by the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council indicates that the number of FTTH connections continues to almost double annually.

April 11, 2008 -- A study released by the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council sees North America continuing toward a high-bandwidth future, with FTTH connections reaching nearly three million households over the past year.

The RVA Market Research study reveals that 2.91 million homes are now connected via end-to-end fiber, compared to 1.48 million connections as of April 2007, for an annual growth rate of 97% -- indicating that the number of FTTH connections continues to almost double annually.

The study also shows FTTH networks now passing 11.8 million North American homes, up from 8 million a year ago, and that the overall "take rate" -- the percentage of those offered FTTH service who decide to subscribe -- went up for the fourth straight six-month period. In addition, the study finds that the number of households receiving video services over their FTTH connections continues to increase sharply, with more than 1.6 million homes using video-enabled FTTH.

"FTTH providers are going full speed ahead in their efforts to deploy advanced fiber networks capable of delivering a new generation of online services," comments Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council. "This survey shows that next generation broadband is here and now, and that a growing number of people are deciding they have to have fiber to keep up with the latest Internet and video applications."

The study showed that Verizon, having committed more than $20 billion to deploying its FiOS FTTH service, continues to set the pace in the number of connections, with more than 70% of the North American total. However, the study also showed growth in the number of subscribers reported by other FTTH service providers, including small and medium sized telephone companies, municipal governments, developers of planned residential communities and cable television companies.

Savage adds, "While we are pleased with the continued high rate of growth, the FTTH industry will not rest until we deliver direct fiber connections to the other 90 million North American households that still don't have access to them."

RVA LLC's Mike Render, the author of the study, notes that the number of homes receiving 100-Mbit service (some 30x the speed of what is offered by most cable and DSL Internet services today) has risen to 17,000, from 12,000 a year ago. "The 100-Mbit level of service is beyond what most people would need or use today, but it's interesting to note that some FTTH providers do offer it, and that a fairly large number of subscribers have it already," says Render.

Further information regarding the study, including graphs and charts, can be found at www.ftthcouncil.org.

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