Fiber-to-the-home deployment to take off

Oct. 25, 2001
October 25, 2001 Rate will jump from 66,000 homes this year to 1.15 million homes in 2006.

Fiber-to-the-home systems in the United States will reach 2.65 million homes by 2006, with fiber-to-the-curb systems reaching another 1.9 million, according to the latest study from KMI Corp. (www.kmicorp.com). As of the end of this year, fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-curb are expected to reach 89,000 and 915,000 homes, respectively. Deployment rates for fiber-to-the-home will rise from 66,000 this year to 1.15 million in 2006-a compound annual growth rate of 63%--the report says. Fiber-to-the-curb will grow at a 15% pace over the same period, from 130,000 homes this year to 260,000 homes in 2006.

The study, "Residential Broadband Access in the United States: Fiber-to-the-Curb and Fiber-to-the-Home," says that the to-the-home market will grow significantly in 2006-the final year of the forecast period-with a rampup beginning in 2005. "In the next four or five years, market demands and cost factors are expected to drive most or all of the RBOCs to begin fiber-to-the-home deployment in new housing developments, then in network rebuilds," KMI said in announcing the new study. "This will drive the market from 66,000 new homes served in 2001 to 1.15 million new homes served in 2006. As a result, the fiber-to-the-home equipment market will grow from $100 million in 2001 to more than $900 million in 2006."

The more modest growth in fiber-to-the-curb deployment will be driven by some continued deployment by one RBOC and slowly growing deployment by other carriers. The 15% growth rate will see the equipment market rise from $110 million this year to almost $200 million in 2006. KMI says the slow expected growth in fiber-to-the-curb can be attributed to cannibalization by the fiber-to-the-home market as the cost difference between the two narrows.

Growth in both markets could be accelerated by faster-than-expected cost reductions or applications that drive the demand for bandwidth to bit rates greater than non-fiber-based technologies can provide. Conversely, fiber-to-the-home growth could be delayed by slower cost reductions or improvements in non-fiber-based technology that keep pace with bandwidth demand.

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