Many telecom pros say no single broadband-access platform will dominate

Oct. 18, 2001
October 18, 2001 Nearly half of those surveyed believe that no clear victor will emerge among DSL, cable, satellite, fixed wireless, and fiber.

Only 3% of survey respondents believe fiber or fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) will be the dominant access provider when it comes to the future of broadband.

And of those, 78% believe FTTH provides the bandwidth to meet any demand.

This is what respondents to PRIMEDIA's ( "Telephony" magazine say about the future of broadband. The survey of telecom professionals, titled "The Future of Broadband Access Technology," found 75% of respondents believe it will take at least two years for broadband technology to reach widespread availability. Additionally, respondents believe DSL will overcome cable as the largest broadband provider if one technology is to dominate.

The survey also found that:

* Forty four percent of respondents do not believe one technology will become the dominant provider of broadband. (Choices included DSL, cable, satellite, fixed wireless and fiber/FTTH)

* Nearly one in three respondents who do not feel one technology will dominate believe that no one technology can support both rural and urban broadband needs.

* Respondents believe 60% of broadband access will be directed toward commercial users, while 40% will be allocated to consumers.

* Respondents believe 63% of future broadband-specific investments will go to existing carriers and existing access technology providers.

Of those respondents that believe one technology will emerge as a dominant broadband medium, nearly one in four believe DSL will eventually surpass all other technologies. If one technology is to outshine others and of those supporting DSL, 64% believe it will dominate because it can be used with existing phone lines and/or does not need a shared connection.

The survey found that 17% believe cable will dominate the market and among those that support cable, 38% believe it is already the dominant medium or that it will be in the next six months. Two-thirds believe cable will dominate due to its easy accessibility and/or present position in the market.

Only 7% of respondents believe fixed wireless will dominate if one technology becomes a leading medium and of that 7%, two-fifths believe the mobility and flexibility of fixed wireless are its strongest attributes.

Only 4% believe satellite will become the dominant broadband access technology and among those 58% believe satellite's ability to reach a more diverse coverage area is its greatest asset.

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