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Cable/Video

Fiber Spreads in the USA

The number of U.S. cities being wired with fiber to the home has grown by 83 percent since October, according to a new study commissioned by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the FTTH Council (see FTTP Gets Plenty of Airtime ).

Fiber has been laid in 398 communities in 43 states and now passes 1,619,500 homes, according to the research, which was conducted by Render Vanderslice & Associates.

Estimates show that about a million of those homes were connected as part of the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) FiOS fiber rollout (see Verizon Expands FTTP Plan). Verizon remains bullish on its promise to pass three million homes with fiber by year's end, and will offer each home up to 30 Mbit/s of bandwidth, a spokesman says (see Tracking Verizon's FTTP Progress).

When the last count was completed in October 2004, fiber drops had begun in only 217 U.S. communities.

The survey results were announced on Capitol Hill Tuesday by senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Gordon Smith (R-OR), with Verizon representatives on hand as well.

"We are in desperate need of next-generation broadband infrastructure,” Schumer said. Underscoring that desperate need, the FTTH Council notes at its Website: “Many analysts have identified online gaming as a significant driver of broadband demand.”

“I am committed to ensuring that it spreads throughout New York and throughout the country,” Schumer said. (He was referring to fiber, not online gaming.)

A list of the “fibered” communities can be found here (see Tracking Verizon's FTTP Progress).

The study says 829,700 of the homes already passed have been offered services over the new fiber, and that 198,000 have subscribed so far -- a take rate of 24 percent (see Qwest Building FTTP Network). By comparison, there are about 13.7 million DSL subscribers in the U.S.

One year ago, the same study reported that 128 communities had been passed in 32 states. While fiber deployment grew rapidly this year, the take rate has fallen; a year ago it was more than 40 percent, the study shows.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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DumDum 12/5/2012 | 3:15:22 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA Well, advertise, advertise, advertise. These guys have got to get on the ball and demonstrate the benefits of broadband, and broader broadband. Man, I'm tellin ya we need the next Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in the internet sector to dream up some great, universal applications (besides games) that broadband can deliver. There is billions to the person who can dream it up. There has got to be a way to make FTTH something separate and superior to cable. But these are just the thought of a DumDum.

-DumDum
DZED 12/5/2012 | 3:15:21 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA I agree, and you're not so dum.

The killer app and supporting technology will leapfrog each other, as in every other industry. Right now we have the technology, we need the killer app to make use of it.
Gaming seems to be continuing to drive PC desktop development.

DZEDs sugestions for broadband:

Super-immersive gaming.

Proper video conferencing, domestic and commercial.

And I have another idea, I think I'll share it with Mr Gates first though - as it could turn the whole industry on its head.
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 3:15:18 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA There has got to be a way to make FTTH something separate and superior to cable.

I think the proper way is to treat FTTH like a utility infrastructure, similar to water or electricity. There is a concept called structural separation that is important as well, particularly if the goal is to adhere to principles such as freedom of speech and a free press.

http://cbdd.wsu.edu/kewlconten...
Balet 12/5/2012 | 3:15:15 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA DZED,
I think we don't need any killer applications.
From my experience talking to smaller end-users (cities, municipals), they would love to get control over the network and make some $$ in 3-4 years after recovering the costs. It is becoming a popular thing to have FTTH in town.
If you still think about killer applications, please post them here, so we can all start our winning start-ups and kick Bill.
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 3:15:14 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA But its hardly a utility if:

o Only a small fraction of the population want it.
o Nobody actually needs it.

So I don't see how the utility model works.


You're confusing things and that may be why you are struggling to understand. Your assertion that a modern communications infrastructure which provides for access to information and knowledge is not defined as a utility is invalid. My first recommendation is to start with the definition of a public utility.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

A public utility is a company that maintains the infrastructure for a public service. Public utilities often involve natural monopolies, and as a result are often government monopolies, or (if privately owned) treated as specially regulated sectors.

Now you'll need to understand what a public good and a natural monopoly is to go further with the analysis. Those definitions can be found on wikipedia as well.

If you find yourself unable to understand the economics of the situation, and must instead turn to "free market" ideology as the basis for your understanding, than you can view a municipality running FTTH as competition to the cable companies and the phone companies. This a false belief system but may be good enough to get the job done.

And I still believe until people actually NEED FTTH, or there is such a killer app they really WANT it its going to be a really slow uptake, too slow for a commercial outfit to be interested.

Agreed. This is called market failure. The battle we face is as difficult as convincing a drug addict to break their habit, get an education, and set an example such that next generations will see somebody building for a better future.
DZED 12/5/2012 | 3:15:14 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA But its hardly a utility if:

Only a small fraction of the population want it.

Nobody actually needs it.

So I don't see how the utility model works.

We've discussed before, if the US thinks its in its strategic and economic interests to have FTTH to every home then fine, in which case it becomes part of the govts tax and spend process.

If the local govt want to do it to make some $$ thats fine too, but don't expect it to happen overnight.
Since the timescales for ROI are so long maybe thats the way to do it, only a public body can realistically run that model.

There are other threads discussing the real costs of getting use out of broadband to the home:
http://www.lightreading.com/do...

And I still believe until people actually NEED FTTH, or there is such a killer app they really WANT it its going to be a really slow uptake, too slow for a commercial outfit to be interested.
The only real app so far is cable TV, and a human being can only watch so many HDTV channels at once.

Please tell me I'm wrong :)

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 3:15:14 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA From my experience talking to smaller end-users (cities, municipals), they would love to get control over the network and make some $$ in 3-4 years after recovering the costs.

If I were running a city/municipality, I'd be suspect of anybody pitching a 3-4 year time for recovering the sunk costs. It sounds overly optimistic (read impossible) to me.

It is becoming a popular thing to have FTTH in town.

I haven't found this to be correct either. There are a few places that have run FTTH. They are extremely rare. For a good map on the topic, check out

http://news.com.com/Municipal+...
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:15:13 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA
Just FYI, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that is based on contributions by its readers. It is not definitive by any stretch. I do not disagree with the definition given, but rj you are missing his point.

Let me spell it out for you....suppose it turns out not to be in the public good to fund these broadband networks. The industries that are making the most money on this infrastructure are movies, games and porn. One could say that this is not necessarily in the best interest of the public.

seven
lastmile 12/5/2012 | 3:15:13 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA The killer application is cost per bandwidth.
Ask a consumer like me.
If I had either cable or DSL for my high speed connection and I had fiber as an alternative (at the same price) then I would certainly switch to fiber. If that fiber would give me TV too, then I would dump my cable and my satellite.
In terms of price, the cost per bandwidth is superior for fiber when compared to cable or dsl. FIOS by VZ offers a far better deal compared to other competitive services even without TV.
When the VZ TV service starts, all other competing services will be dead. History always repeats itself. That is what happened to telegraph when the telephone was invented. And recently it is VOIP that is screwing the hell out of pots.
The real killer application is a lower price for a better service.
corvo 12/5/2012 | 3:15:12 AM
re: Fiber Spreads in the USA how about video cameras in every home connected to the internet; internet booths at airports,stations and important places from where you could checkup on whats happening back home.

may be a bit too crazy but -
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