Access to super-fast broadband service is expanding rapidly and moving into the mainstream, according to FTTx research specialist IDATE’s latest semi-annual report. Super-fast broadband connectivity surpassed the 300 million subscriber mark as of mid-June 2015, while associated technologies represented nearly 38% of broadband access subscriptions, eight points above their level one year ago.
FTTH/B (Fiber To The Home/Building) connections accounted for 61% of FTTx subscriptions as of mid-2015, with growth continuing through 2019, though at a slower pace than that of 2014, when subscriber numbers in China grew substantially, according to IDATE DigiWorld’s latest World FTTx Market report.
Having grown significantly over the previous two years, subscribers to cable broadband (FTTx/D3.0) subscriptions remained stable, representing 27% of the global FTTx total. VDSL subscriber numbers, in contrast, dropped a point to 12% year-over-year.
IDATE expects FTTH/B’s worldwide broadband market share to come in at 32% by 2019, up from 22% as of year-end 2014.
FTTx/D3.0 cable technology dominates in North America, according to IDATE, growing more rapidly than other technologies, generally speaking. The take-up rate of FTTH/B in North America will rise from 41% to 46% by year-end 2019, researchers said.
The Race to Roll Out Gigabit Fiber
The race to roll out gigabit service has been heating up in the U.S. Earlier this month, Comcast announced a DOCSIS 3.1 roadmap and said it plans to use the technology as it rolls out super-fast gigabit services in markets across the country.
Also earlier this month, Google Fiber announced a plan to provide free gigabit broadband service to public housing, beginning in Kansas City.