Fiber broadband supply chain lead times have improved significantly, according to a new white paper from the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) that shows up to 92% faster lead times in some fiber broadband equipment categories.
The white paper, “Strategies to Mitigate Bottlenecks in the Current Fiber Broadband Supply Chain,” is designed to provide information to help companies contend with supply chain challenges; build more robust systems and processes to buffer them from future challenges; and keep fiber projects on target.
The drop in lead times is certainly good news for buyers of the technology, who are expected to invest $135 billion over the next five years, according to a recent report.
Among the improved lead times for various fiber components:
- 92% decrease for fiber optic cables (from 52-60 weeks in summer 2022 to 4-10 weeks as of March 2023)
- 60% drop for fiber cabinets and splitters (from 10-20 weeks in summer 2022 to 4-8 weeks as of March 2023)
- 80% drop for fiber multiport terminals (from 20-35 weeks in summer 2022 to 4-8 weeks as of March 2023)
- 80% decrease for conduit (from 15-20 weeks in summer 2022 to 3-7 weeks as of March 2023)
- 64% decrease for hand holes (from 22-26 weeks in summer 2022 to 8-14 weeks as of March 2023)
- 67% decrease for home equipment (from 12-24 weeks in summer 2022 to 4-10 weeks as of March 2023)
“This latest supply chain information is encouraging for fiber broadband providers today that are building reliable, high-speed fiber broadband networks to connect their communities and close the digital equity gap,” Gary Bolton, Fiber Broadband Association president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
“However, our supply chain working group does caution that while it is reporting current relief in the supply chain, it expects to see an uptick in demand going forward. Therefore, it encourages companies to continue to put a hard focus on long-range planning and to follow FBA mitigation strategies presented in the white paper.”