U.S. To Have 18 Mln Fiber Homes by 2011?

In a new report, market research firm Parks Associates forecasts that some 18 million U.S. households will subscribt to FTTx fiber optical services by the year 2011, pushing the technology into the mainstream of broadband access options alongside cable and DSL. Currently, roughly half of U.S. households&mdahs;between 50 and 55 million—are estimated have broadband Internet service of some sort. Recent estimates from Jupiter Research have forecast the U.S. will boast around 80 million broadband households by 2011, which would give fiber technology just over a 20 percent share.

“While fiber is a small percentage of total U.S. broadband household subscriptions today, it will achieve a faster growth rate than what DSL and cable did after their inception,” said Chris Roden, research analyst at Parks Associates, in a statement. “Companies like Verizon and AT&T are hoping to match and surpass the broadband offerings from the cable MSOs [Multiple Systems Operators], and their bold plans to upgrade their existing copper networks will drive fiber growth. Increasing consumer demand for bundled services such as video-on-demand and IPTV will also fuel the increase in fiber subscriptions.”

The report also forecasts that broadband-over-power-line (BPL) technology will grow from only about 400,000 U.S. households today to about 2.5 million in 2011; while many outlying and rural areas do not have access to DSL, cable, or fiber infrastructure, in many cases existing power grids will be a viable means to bring broadband technology to users in otherwise under-served regions.