BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.
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70 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 FTTH CONFERENCE Cheaper Fiber Deployments – And More of Them Attendees at the FTTH Council Americas annual conference heard about surging deployment around the world and how to cut costs at home. By Steven S. Ross / Broadband Communities A ttendees at the annual Fiber to the Home Council conference in Anaheim this summer feasted on cost-cutting deployment technologies, better business cases and the news that fber is making big inroads in Europe, Africa and Latin America. Market researcher Michael Render's new survey of 2,150 broadband consumers presented plenty of good news for FTTH deployers along with some caveats. Most important, the U.S. take rate for FTTH is now 47 percent. Tough only 29 percent of consumers are aware of the term "fber to the home," 84 percent are familiar with the concept of "fber optic Internet." Te term "gigabit Internet" is also familiar to some consumers (14 percent), and though gigabit service is price elastic – customers won't buy it if the price premium over good FTTH service, typically in the 25–100 Mbps range, is too high – ofering gigabit service provides a halo efect that makes marketing other bandwidth tiers easier. Consumers know that gigabit service is there if they eventually need it. Render said consumers are now spending six hours a day online, up a bit in the last year. Even smartphones are often connected to home Wi-Fi. Reliability is as important as speed to customers, Render said. He noted that providers rate reliability higher than any other goal, but they do not believe consumers rate reliability and latency as highly as they actually do. Render added that fber is so reliable and produces such high consumer satisfaction that no-contract FTTH services are attractive even though consumers' overall satisfaction with telephone companies has been declining. THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE Roland Montagne, market analyst for telecom at the European consultancy IDATE, was bullish on Latin American and European deployments. For Latin America, he listed 75 fber-to- 0.2% 0.2% 0.8% 1.2% 2.3% 6% 9% 18% 34% 58% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% $100 $90 $80 $70 $60 $50 $40 $30 $20 $10 Percent of consumers who choose gigabit service versus price premium over next-lowest broadband tier Source: RVA, spring 2015 consumer survey Even a small price premium for gigabit service is a barrier to consumer uptake.