Annual direct investment in fiber to the home (FTTH) networks will reach $4.7 billion by 2017 and total investment in FTTH over the next five years will be $18 billion, according to a market analysis unveiled today.
In its report, North American Fiber to the Home and Advanced Broadband Review and Forecast to 2017, market analyst RVA LLC also predicted that annual revenues derived by FTTH providers from ultra high bandwidth applications and services beyond the “triple play” – voice, video and Internet – will reach $4 billion by 2017, or $9 billion cumulatively over the next five years.
Fiber to the home networks, which are capable of providing broadband speeds of one gigabit and beyond, are now available to more than one-fifth of North American households. The build-out has been led by Verizon’s aggressive deployment of its all-fiber FiOS service in the U.S., while nearly 1,000 smaller operators, mostly local telephone companies and municipalities, are now providing services to their customers over all-fiber networks.
More recently, Google has launched gigabit FTTH services in the Kansas City area, as have ISP providers Sonic.net and Paxio in California, CityLink Fiber in New Mexico and public utilities in Chattanooga, TN, Lafayette, LA, Morristown, TN, and Bristol, TN. In Canada, Bell Aliant now offers FTTH to more than 650,000 homes in the Atlantic provinces, making it the second largest FTTH provider on the continent.
In addition to ongoing investment in upgrades to all-fiber service in North America over the next several years, the RVA report predicts that the number of high bandwidth subscribers – those receiving speeds of 100 megabits per second up to a gigabit per second – will now grow rapidly and, in turn, become an increasingly important market niche for application, software and programming developers.
“This report backs up what we’ve been seeing and hearing from the market in recent months – that Americans and Canadians want their broadband providers to take it to the next level and deliver the gigabit speeds to homes and businesses that will soon be necessary for economic advancement, overall competitiveness and rising living standards,” said Heather Burnett Gold, President of the FTTH Council Americas, a non-profit organization of nearly 300 companies and organizations dedicated to expanding the availability of ultra high speed broadband.
“So it’s full speed ahead for the build-out of all-fiber networks,” she said.
Mike Render, President of RVA and author of the study, said that the trend toward further FTTH deployment is clear despite the wind-down of the ARRA broadband stimulus program, changes to the FCC’s Universal Service program and lingering uncertainties in the overall economy.
“We see the next stage of FTTH growth being driven by a diverse group of providers, ranging from small to large and coming from various segments of the industry, as opposed to being driven by one large provider,” he said.
Further information on the RVA report can be found at rvallc.com.