Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2013

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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Page 38 of 134

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS Fiber to the Home Expands At a Record-Setting Pace In North America, 10.7 million customers are now connected to fber. More FTTH customers were added in the last 12-month period than ever before, take rates rose signifcantly and more new homes were passed with fber than at any time since 2009. FTTH also provides the only good news for operators of traditional pay-TV services. By Steven S. Ross / Broadband Communities N orth American fber-to-the-home deployers signed up 1.04 million new customers in the six months ending September 2013 – a new record for any six-month period. Te year-over-year total, 1.7 million new customers, was also a record. Recovering from a stormy winter, the industry posted strong percentage gains in almost every category last summer. Of the 10.7 million FTTH customers connected by September 2013, 9.6 million (90.1 percent) were in the United States. Almost a quarter of all U.S. households – about 25 million – now have fber available. Te North American total is about 28 million. Michael Render, president of market research frm RVA LLC, interviewed 350 vendors, service providers and experts between March and September 2013 to arrive at the data for FTTH in the U.S. and Canada. He also surveyed 2,100 consumers in June. Data for Mexico comes from the French consultancy IDATE. Mexican deployers tripled the number of homes passed by fber last year to almost half a million but are only beginning to market services. Because of low take rates in Mexico, the overall North American take rate lags the U.S. rate. (Take rate is defned as the number of customers divided by the number of homes actually marketed.) 32 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | Altogether, deployers passed 3.4 million new North American homes with fber between September 2012 and 2013 – the highest volume since the recession accelerated in 2009. Prior to the recession, many homes passed by fber were in new subdivisions that were not occupied for a long time, if ever. Today's new deployments, however, aren't fueled by that kind of rampant speculation. Fiber deployers are succeeding at selling services in rural areas (where there is little competition) and in medium-dense urban settings where a little fber can pass a lot of dwelling units, often in multiple-dwelling-unit buildings. Says Render, "In the 1998–2007 housing boom, relatively few lots were fber-fed – so many people overestimated the impact of greenfeld FTTH. In the coming housing increase or boom, more and more lots will be fber-fed. Many underestimate the coming greenfeld FTTH boom, based on their experience with the last housing boom [and bust]." Render estimates greenfeld builds will account for as many as a third of all FTTH homes newly passed in 2014. Even without new builds, FTTH connections will continue to grow as the backlog of 2 million unmarketed homes (that is, homes for which physical fber is available but | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

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