Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2016

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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18 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | MAY/JUNE 2016 FTTH CONNECT Welcome Letter: Fiber on Fire The FTTH Council celebrates 15 years of leading the fber revolution. By Heather Burnett Gold / FTTH Council Americas A s I sat down to compose this letter, it struck me how much has changed in 15 years. When the FTTH Council was launched in 2001, Apple released its frst iPod and Enron fled for bankruptcy. Gateway computers and PalmPilots were the rage, and DSL was the future of high-speed broadband. Given that last prediction, it really is extraordinary that the founders of FTTH knew better and delivered on it. Tat is worthy of celebration indeed. In the last year, 3 million additional North American homes were passed by fber, bringing the total to just over 26 million. Twenty-six million! To put that into perspective, when the FTTH Council started in 2001, fewer than 100,000 homes had access to fber. Fiber is on fre. It is now ofcially the "cool kid" of broadband. Providers tuck it into all their advertising and marketing materials. It's the marker for next-generation, gigabit networks everywhere. Fiber to the home, fber to the antenna, fber to the premises, fber to Mars – the "to" doesn't matter anymore. People want fber everywhere. What started as a trickle 15 years ago has turned into a food of companies – many of them represented here at FTTH Connect – working to connect the global economy to the fber infrastructure that will power it. Make no mistake; we are just getting started. As fber becomes ubiquitous, thanks to the hard work of our members, and as consumers set their sights on gigabit speeds and above, research suggests that in as little as fve years, more than half the 1,000 FTTH providers in North America will ofer gigabit service. Suggestions that customers don't want or need gigabit service are going the way of Tomas Watson's prediction that the world would never have use for more than fve computers. Te digital revolution has taught us that innovation and technology have interesting ways of getting where they need to go. Tis is only the end of the beginning. Tere is more work to do as we enter this next, important phase, in which fber networks become the superhighway of the 21st century. Te job of the FTTH Council is to continue to be the town crier, educator and advocate, keeping the momentum going and tearing down the roadblocks and barriers that (literally and fguratively) stand in the way of our mission to accelerate the deployment of all-fber networks. We were there when the Broadband Opportunity Council announced its plan for the federal government to expand broadband access throughout the country. We applauded the plan for including our recommendations that help broadband providers and communities break down information barriers and deploy better, faster fber broadband. We were there, too, when the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced the FTTH Council as a partner in its Community Suggestions that customers don't want or need gigabit service are going the way of Thomas Watson's prediction that the world would need only fve computers.

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