More than $60 billion will be invested by service providers in the U.S. in fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) initiatives during the next five years, according to a fiber investment forecast from research firm RVA LLC. The figure is about twice the size of any previous five-year FTTH forecast from the firm.
The good times will be shared widely. RVA says that barring unforeseen economic or other type disruption, heavy investments will come from telephone companies, MSO/cable companies, rural electric cooperatives and competitive providers.
In most cases, the projects will be to serve homes that never had access to FTTH before. But some builds will be in areas already served by another fiber provider.
The RVA 2021-2025 Forecast Report identifies several drivers of the surge. A key is quality: “FTTH clearly offers the best consumer user experience versus other broadband delivery methods such as cable coax, telecom DSL, wireless, or satellite in terms of reliability, speed (up and down), and latency,” the fiber investment forecast report said.
FTTH also suggests that service providers benefit from FTTH deployments because the technology lowers operational costs and churn.
The fiber investment forecast, which was done for the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), is based on hundreds of provider, vendor and industry expert interviews and a survey of more than 2,500 online users.
It’s been clear for a while that an increasing percentage of U.S. homes had or will get access to fiber.
In December 2019, RVA reported that 20.5 million homes in the U.S. have fiber broadband service. That represented an increase of more than 2 million homes from the previous report, which said 18.4 million homes had the service.
The report said that 2019 was the first year when fiber broadband served more homes than fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) or DSL.
In September 2019, consulting firm Cartesian and the FBA said that a $70 billion increase in FTTH investment during the subsequent 10 years would make the offering available to 90% of U.S. homes by 2019. An increase of $52 billion would lead to 80% of homes having the service, the research showed.