Commercial sites were adding fiber availability at a fast pace before the COVID-19 pandemic moved most people to work from home, according to the latest ENS @Fiber Plus research from Vertical Systems Group (VSG). The research firm classifies fiber lit buildings into two categories, large and small.

ENS @Fiber plus defines a fiber lit building as one that includes multi-tenant and company-owned commercial sites plus data centers that have on-net optical fiber connectivity to a network provider’s infrastructure, plus active service termination equipment onsite.  Not included in the analysis are standalone cell towers, small cells not located in fiber capable buildings, near net buildings, buildings classified as coiled at the curb or coiled in building, HFC-connected buildings, carrier central offices, residential buildings, and private or dark fiber installations.

Buildings with fiber capability provide competitive advantages such as faster and more profitable delivery of network services. Other research, reported by Telecompetitor, showed AT&T leading all other U.S. service providers in reaching buildings with fiber.

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Based on the ENS @Fiber Plus research, more than 1 million commercial buildings and data centers now have on-net access to fiber-based network services. The Fiber 20+ segment, which includes buildings with twenty or more employees, has an estimated 64.5% fiber lit availability rate. By contrast, 12.1 % of buildings with fewer than 20 employees are fiber capable.

fiber lit buildings

Despite the small total, the buildings with fewer employees grew at a much faster rate than did the Fiber 20+ segment, with more than two-thirds of the new fiber lit sites, according to VSG.

Additionally, 13 retail and wholesale providers attained top tier rankings on the 2019 U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings Leaderboard, which means they had 10,000 or more on-net fiber lit commercial sites. Last year’s VSG fiber-lit building report included 11 companies in that category.

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