Fiber providers passed 7.9 million additional homes in the U.S. in 2022—the highest annual deployment ever, even with challenges in materials supply chain and labor availability, according to a fiber deployment report from the Fiber Broadband Association.
The 2022 Fiber Provider Survey was based on research conducted by RVA LLC Market Research & Consulting (RVA). Researchers found that there are now a total of 68 million fiber broadband passings in the U.S., with strong recent increases of 13% over the past 12 months and 27% over the past two years.
The survey also found that 63 million unique homes have now been passed (this figure “excludes homes with two or more fiber passings,” FBA said). To date, fiber has passed nearly half of primary homes and over 10% of second homes.
The annual fiber deployment rate is likely to be even higher over the next five years as BEAD and other broadband funding programs kick in.
In its research, RVA notes that although deployment expectations from individual companies are in constant flux based on many factors, many service providers have announced network builds exceeding the fiber footprint they have built through private funding.
Canada is seeing strong fiber deployment as well, with about 66% of homes passed.
“High-quality broadband has become more important to consumers every year. Fiber broadband exceeds all other types of delivery in every single measurement of broadband quality, including speeds, uptime, latency, jitter, and power consumption,” Gary Bolton, Fiber Broadband Association president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “For the consumer this has real-world impacts, like more productivity, better access to health care and education, more entrepreneurism, and the option of more rural living. For society, this means more sustainability and, ultimately, digital equity.”
The Fiber Broadband Association is also helping with the expansion by helping to train installers through its Optical Telecom Installation Certification (OpTIC) Path program.