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Survey finds North American FTTH grew 13% in 2011

May 10, 2012 - The number of North American households connected directly into optical fiber networks grew by 13% over the past year, indicating that telecommunications companies of all sizes are continuing to upgrade to next-generation fiber to the home technologies, according to the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council Americas.
The Council has released figures prepared by the market analyst firm RVA LLC showing that 900,000 households across Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean were upgraded to FTTH service since April 2011, as the total number of North American homes with all-fiber connections surged past eight million. The figures showed that FTTH is now being offered to 19.3 million homes on the continent.

Canadian households now represent 3% of FTTH on the continent, while 95% of the FTTH households are in the United States.

"The pure numbers of FTTH providers and their diversity is something that is uniquely North American. No other region of the world is seeing this," said Michael Render, president of RVA.

The survey noted 58% of FTTH providers reported seeing increased local economic activity related to the availability of more robust, all-fiber networks they have deployed.

"The notion that the upgrade to FTTH can be a catalyst for economic development is precisely what is driving this enormous interest in high-speed fiber we are seeing at the community level across North America," said Heather Burnett Gold, president of the FTTH Council Americas. "Civic leaders in communities of all sizes have a sense that more bandwidth means more opportunities for economic progress."

"These latest numbers underscore that phenomenon in two ways - they show that smaller telecoms are continuing to upgrade to FTTH and that many are indeed seeing a positive economic impact in their communities after they deploy," she added.

Meanwhile, the survey found growing activity among FTTH providers in fiber to the cell tower construction, with more than 1500 towers connected by small, single state providers in 2011.

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