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Ultra-Broadband

FTTH on a Roll(out)

LAS VEGAS -- Boosted by federal broadband stimulus funding, fiber-to-the-home deployments are ramping up in the US, and that new activity is being reflected here this week in a very lively Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council conference.

Attendance is up significantly over the last two years, both from the US and abroad, and vendors are reporting that, even in advance of much of the stimulus money distribution, activity is up.

The annual survey of FTTH activity conducted by the Council shows that FTTH networks now pass almost 20 million homes in North America and that 6.45 million households on the continent now receive Internet, television, and/or voice services over FTTH networks, an increase of about 650,000 from six months ago. The number of homes passed rose from 18.2 million in March of 2010, to 19.6 million in September.

Vendors at the show are expecting those numbers to jump significantly in coming months as more telcos deploy FTTH, even as Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) winds down its major FiOS construction.

"This is prime time for stimulus money," says Geoff Burke, senior director, corporate marketing for Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX). "The rest of the awards are being announced this week so there's $9 billion sitting out there and we think that only about 5 percent of vendors are chosen as well, so part of the buzz of this show is based on that timing, but we are seeing a large amount of general momentum outside of the stimulus."

At ADC (Nasdaq: ADCT), which is awaiting its consolidation into Tyco Electronics Ltd. (NYSE: TEL), the growth in the multi-dwelling unit (MDU) sector is fueling growth, along with the stimulus. (See Tyco Snaps Up ADC for $1.25B.)

"We are seeing lots of interest by more and more customers," says Trevor Smith, director of carrier solutions for ADC's Global Connectivity Solutions. "There has been a big impact from the stimulus and we are also seeing big interest in Latin America, from big carriers but also from smaller telcos and cable companies. The MDU market there is even bigger than it is here. There also are a lot of independent operating companies in the U.S. as well who tell us they are going for stimulus money, but they are going to deploy FTTH whether they get it or not."

Smith reports seeing potential customers from Argentina and Chile, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, and Germany. Latin American attendance at the show has doubled this year, according to Joe Savage, FTTH Council president.

Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) posted major second-quarter growth based in part on what it sees as expanding interest in FTTH, including new interest in using active Ethernet as an FTTH option, says Kevin Morgan, director of marketing. As with ADC, some of that spending was stimulus related, but some wasn't, as general industry activity is picking up. (See Adtran vs. Cisco Earnings.)

The FTTH Council saw a major uptake in paid full conference registrations by non-council members, said David St. John, who handles communication for the FTTH Council. That's an indication that companies that have not been engaged by the council's work to this point are getting involved.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

elpato 12/5/2012 | 4:23:44 PM
re: FTTH on a Roll(out)

this is a pretty cool article. I like that fact that it uses the internet!

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