broadbandTier 3 broadband service providers will continue investing and extending and expanding the reach of their fiber networks in coming years, prompted by technological advances, customer demand and pressure from competitors both within and outside the telecom industry, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

VDSL2 figures to play a major role in Tier 3 broadband providers’ fiber network expansion plans, according to Infonetics’, “Tier 3 Broadband Strategies and Vendor Leadership: North American Service Provider Survey.”

“Tier 3 operators in the U.S. are already heavily invested in FTTH networks and will continue to expand their fiber availability until they reach their entire subscriber base,” Infonetics principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV Jeff Heynen was quoted in a press release.

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“But like other operators around the world outside of China, the long-term transition to fiber will happen incrementally, with fiber-to-the-node and fiber-to-the-curb deployments using VDSL2 as a critical, strategic tool in the effort to keep up with subscriber and network bandwidth demands.”

Highlights of Infonetics’ Tier 3 broadband survey report include:

  • Only 5% of operators participating in Infonetics’ survey are providing average downstream speeds of 100+ Mbps today, increasing to 45% by 2016
  • Survey respondents expect capital expenditures earmarked for fixed broadband networks to remain flat
  • After 2014, 55%–75% of respondents plan to upgrade and expand their networks with 2.5G GPON and Ethernet FTTH
  • Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents upgrading their networks with system-level vectored VDSL2 goes from 0 in 2013 to 30% in 2014
  • A majority of those surveyed named Calix, Adtran, and Alcatel-Lucent as the top 3 fixed broadband access equipment suppliers

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