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Maybe FTTH Is Creating Jobs

A panel yesterday questioned FTTH's economic benefits, but the jobs are there, according to the annual FTTH Council data dump

September 29, 2011

2 Min Read
Maybe FTTH Is Creating Jobs

ORLANDO -- FTTH Council Conference 2011 -- What a difference a day makes.

Mike Render, primary consultant of RVA Consulting , told a keynote session Thursday morning that FTTH is creating jobs, particularly among home-based businesses.

It's a different picture from one painted Wednesday, when a Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) executive presented data showing it's hard to discern FTTH's economic impact. (See FTTH's Benefits Are Not That Easy to Prove.)

Render, who presents his annual tally of North American FTTH deployment at this event each year, says his research shows FTTH adds 35 jobs and a half-million dollars in local revenue per 1,000 homes passed. Those conclusions come from interviews with FTTH users.

One of FTTH's major impacts is on telecommuting and home-based businesses, according to Render. Twelve percent of the homes using FTTH broadband start home-based businesses, he says, and that number jumps to 22 percent among users of 50Mbit/s services.

Those figures bolster the FTTH Council's theme of "Lighting the Economy." Full details of his report are for sale on the RVA website.

According to Render, more than 20 million North American homes are now passed by FTTH, and 7.6 million are connected. A year ago, the numbers were just under 20 million passed and 6.45 million connected. (See FTTH on a Roll(out).)

The overall take rate is actually flattening, by percentage, a fact he attributes to large FTTH projects now underway in Canada and Mexico, which are adding homes passed but haven't signed many up yet. There has also been a slowdown in the pace of FTTH growth since Verizon substantially completed its FiOS buildout, but growth in Canada and Mexico and stimulus buildouts in the U.S. could counterbalance that.

The FTTH share of the broadband market is now more than 5 percent overall, with cable leading the pack at almost 45 percent and DSL on a steady downturn to 35 percent. Wireless holds about a 12 percent share.

Satisfaction rates among FTTH users continue to be high -- 74 percent were very satisfied with their all-fiber access, compared to 54 percent for cable modems and 51 percent for DSL, Render says. The average revenue for an FTTH subscriber is also on the rise, at $143.56 per month, up from $136 in 2009.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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