By Alyssa Dalton
February 28, 2013 – 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 recent report by RVA LLC, titled North American Fiber to the Home and Advanced Broadband Review and Forecast to 2017.
RVA LLC also predicted annual revenues derived by FTTH providers from ultra high bandwidth applications and services beyond the “triple play”—voice, video and internet—would reach $4 billion by 2017, or $9 billion cumulatively over the next five years.
FTTH 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, noted the report. 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, it continued.
Michael Render, president of RVA and author of the study, said 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.
In addition to ongoing investment in upgrades to all-fiber service in North America over the next several years, the RVA report predicted that the number of high bandwidth subscribers, those receiving speeds of 100 megabits per second up to a gigabit per second, would 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 that will soon be necessary for economic advancement, overall competitiveness and rising living standards,” said Heather Burnett Gold, president of the FTTH Council Americas.
“So it’s full speed ahead for the build-out of all-fiber networks,” she said.