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Fiber to the Home Connections Double Year Over Year

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Fiber to the Home Connections Jump to Nearly Three Million as Next-Generation Broadband Deployment Continues

North America continues its march toward a high-bandwidth future as fiber to the home connections posted another year of robust growth — reaching nearly three million households — according to a study released today by the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council.

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

The study also shows fiber to the home 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 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.

“Fiber to the home providers are going full speed ahead in their efforts to deploy advanced fiber networks capable of delivering a new generation of online services,” said 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.”

“While we are pleased with the continued high rate of growth,” he added, “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.”

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 percent 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.

Mike Render of RVA LLC, who authored the study, noted that the number of homes receiving 100 megabit service — some 30 times 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 megabit 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,” he said.

The FTTH Council has urged legislators and regulators to adopt a “100 Megabit Nation” policy and reduce barriers to next-generation broadband deployment.

About the Fiber-to-the-Home Council
Now in its seventh year, the Fiber-to-the-Home Council is a non-profit organization established to help its members plan, market, implement and manage FTTH solutions. Council membership includes municipalities, utilities, developers, and traditional and non-traditional service providers, creating a cohesive group to share knowledge and build industry consensus on key issues surrounding fiber to the home. Communities and organizations interested in exploring FTTH options may find information on the FTTH Council web site at http://www.ftthcouncil.org.

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