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FTTH growing across the globe

By Max Burkhalter
July 1, 2011
The global market for fiber to the home technology is growing fast, but the market is compartmentalized with some regions experiencing rapid adoption while others stagger far behind, according to a recent IDATE study.

The study found global FTTH adoption is climbing fast. By the end of 2010, FTTH had reached approximately 61 million global subscribers. That represents a dramatic 53 percent increase over 2009. IDATE sees no reason to expect growth to slow, and believes the sector's expansion will continue at a rapid pace through 2015. By then, the report expects approximately 493 million homes to have access to FTTH technology.

While these growth statistics are encouraging for the sector as a whole, the study found certain geographical areas are dominating the industry's meteoric expansion. By 2015 more than half of all FTTH households will be in Asia. Another 15 percent will be in Western Europe. This means that more than 65 percent of the wold's FTTH subscribers will be located in just two regions.

Another IDATA study explored why so much disparity exists in FTTH deployments around the world, and found current levels of telecom infrastructure are the primary barrier or enabler for FTTH deployment. The study found that the actual services deployed and marketed by service providers plays a major part in dictating whether or not users embrace the technology.

The lack of robust telecom options is a major part of why some regions are experiencing difficulty moving from the broadband services provided by copper cabling infrastructure to the ultra-fast broadband offered by FTTH technology. The equipment that supports the network, consumer requirements for internet services and connectivity options also impact FTTH deployment, the study found.

While the IDATA study identified Asia and Western Europe as key areas for FTTH deployment, a recent RVA survey found the United States could be close to catching up. The study found approximately 18 percent of homes in the United States have access to FTTH technology. This represents significant growth over previous years, and displays the growing importance of optical technologies for home users. Furthermore, the study found FTTH users are generally much happier with their telecom services than consumers deploying cable or DSL solutions. The survey found 74 percent of FTTH users are very satisfied with the performance, reliability and stability of their internet connections.


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