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Verizon FTTH outlook not as bleak as it seems

By Max Burkhalter
January 8, 2013
Verizon did a funny thing in 2012 - it told the world that it would stop reaching new markets with its fiber-to-the-home networks in its FiOS line. Instead, the company was going to focus on the areas where FiOS is already available and slow expansion of the FTTH infrastructure.

With Verizon being one of the leading providers FTTH in the United States, its decree that it would not build in new markets established a bleak outlook for the market. However, a recent FierceTelecom report explained that the news may not be as bad as it first seems. With 2012 in the past and Verizon's initial announcement left behind, the actual impact of the strategy may not be too bad for the U.S. FTTH sector.

Why Verizon's lack of FTTH expansion may not be an issue
The news source explained that while Verizon is not expanding to new markets, it is still building new fiber infrastructure. Instead of working its way into new regions and taking revenue risks, Verizon is focused on replacing aging copper infrastructure with optical networks. This is leading to significant FTTH investments, but in areas where FiOS is already available to some customers.

Considering the U.S. FTTH market as a whole
Verizon's efforts to continue installing fiber-optic infrastructure emphasize that while the U.S. market for FTTH may not be poised for significant growth, it is still fairly healthy. Many experts agree that there are roadblocks to significant FTTH deployment in the United States, especially as economic conditions remain uncertain. However, there is still potential for new FTTH deployment in many rural and urban areas.

In rural regions, the major problem with FTTH is that there is not middle-mile fiber in place to cut the costs of developing the network. Efforts based in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are chaning that, as many networks planned during the act's development are now being built.

New technologies are emerging that could make urban FTTH deployments much more profitable. In the past, FTTH builds to multi-dwelling households were almost impossible to monetize because the cabling could not be readily deployed to each housing unit within the building. New cable types are overcoming this limitation, allowing short fiber-optic cable builds to connect multiple households inexpensively. When combined with fiber to Ethernet media converters, new cabling solutions are making FTTH much more accessible. As a result, new revenue opportunities are emerging and FTTH use could expand in the United States.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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