The flood of people relocating to urban areas creates more demand for ultra-broadband -- and G.fast, a technology that allows service providers to cost effectively and quickly satisfy this need.
The availability of affordable, fast broadband is a competitive advantage to the many cities vying for millennials and others anxious to trade the suburbs or country living for an urban lifestyle. In 2015, almost 82% of the United States' population lived in urban areas versus about 75% in 1990, a Statista chart shows. And the nation's population has grown to over 322 million in 2015 compared with about 250 million in 1990, the United States Census Bureau finds. That means in 2015, about 274 million people called cities home; in 1990, about 188 million dwelled in urban areas.
"For cities, these trends are not just about broadband networks; they are about the next generation of broadband-led urban development," wrote Blair Levin, nonresident senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program, executive director of Gig.U: The Next Generation Network Innovation Project and member of Hillary Clinton's technology advisory group in a Brookings Institution blog. "Just as technology is transforming agriculture, retail, manufacturing, and every other sector of the economy, technology is also transforming the way our society, and particularly cities, address the mission of providing vibrant communities in which individuals and families can thrive."
Urban dwellers typically live in multi-dwelling units (MDUs) such as apartments, condos and co-ops. MDUs as a percentage of all housing grew to 38% in 2015, about double the 17.7% they represented in 2010, according to a recent webinar hosted by IHS Markit.
Most residents -- about 74% -- are between 30 and 44 years old, reports the "National Multifamily Housing Council . And their income is growing at a more rapid clip than "all households," NMHC finds.
"There's a tremendous opportunity here for G.fast deployments. There are more than 30 million apartments in the USA alone," said John Kendall, principal analyst of service provider technology at IHS Markit, during the webinar. "Millennials are driving these trends. They grew up with broadband connections so it's a very important element in their lifestyle."
Although new construction is on the rise in many fast-growing cities, most residents live in buildings that have been around for years, if not decades. In MDUs, getting authorization to re-fiber a building can be a long, arduous (and expensive) prospect, said Craig Thomas, senior director of international marketing at Calix, during the IHS Markit webinar. Therefore, fiber to the home can be unfeasible.
"A scary thought is that more than one third of building managers do not believe broadband is important," he said, citing company research. "Pulling cable is costly and time consuming. The ability to go into a building, deploy a new solution like G.fast, use an existing infrastructure like copper and be ready within hours and minutes is crucial."
Fiber to the node is about one fourth of the cost of FTTH, said Andrew Long, group manager of the Access Business Unit at EXFO. Since so many sites have copper in-place, G.fast allows service providers and their customers to reap ultra-broadband benefits faster, for less money.
"G.fast has a great sweet spot in the middle, hence the reason many service providers are interested in deploying it," he said during the webinar.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.