"We expect the gap between coax and fiber to continue to narrow as we go forward," he said, noting fiber broadband providers now have almost 41 million homes passed and marketed in the United States. (Homes marketed, which represent 40.8 million, means the number of houses or multi-dwelling units that have fiber "in the area but, for one reason or another, may not be able to be connected to fiber," Render explained. In an MDU, for example, the fiber may be deployed to the apartment next door, but another building's owner contracted with a telco using Gfast and copper to deliver broadband, he said.)
Fiber: at Record Levels, but Small Cell Deployment Is Just Starting
This year alone, providers deployed fiber to 5.9 million homes marketed, according to RVA. In an apples-to-apples comparison, the second-highest rollout year was 2007: At that time, operators reached 4.2 million, the research firm found. Next year, however, the surge will decrease as AT&T's fiber deployment, said Render.
"We do expect that growth will go down a little bit, primarily because AT&T is a big player. In 2018 they're getting close to finishing, in the middle of next year, a build they committed to the FCC... " he said. "We are expecting that one player to create some small declines."
Tier 1 operators are few and powerful, but the 1,000-plus smaller providers across the United States alone have a commanding presence, according to RVA.
This year, they accounted for 29% of fiber builds, the report showed (versus 71% for tier one providers). RVA has tracked this data point since 2004: It's been steadily growing since 2014 and is the highest point ever.
Breaking down the type of provider is interesting, too. Tier 1 ILECs dominate, accounting for 72.6% of residential fiber rollouts in the US this year. Smaller ILECs represented 10.3%, followed by CLECs and then MSOs, which delivered 5.5% of residential fiber. Public municipalities provided fiber to 3.7%, while real-estate development integrators accounted for 1.1%, RVA found. Finally, rural electric coops deployed fiber to 0.5% of US homes -- a percentage that's small but growing, Render said.
"Take rates have been so spectacular they can see a business case here," he added. "We expect some pretty good growth out of that segment."
Although residential customers may be spread thin, fiber optic cables are ideal for other customers -- including distributed energy such as solar or wind, agriculture, forestry and government, said Render.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
Today’s access network architecture is under mounting pressure due to a continued surge in the number of connected devices, a proliferation of bandwidth-intensive customer applications and dramatic shifts in usage patterns related to the pandemic, such as work-from-home and e-learning.
Learn why now is the right time for cable operators to build greenfield networks or expand their existing networks with 10G PON, arming customers with high-speed symmetrical broadband. Gain a clear understanding of the drivers impacting the access network and the various approaches being considered to deliver higher speed services. Plus, find out the best practices that operators are employing as they leverage the latest in passive optical technology to future-proof their networks.
Topics to be covered include:
Node + 0 (Fiber Deep)
DOCSIS 3.1, DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX/ESD)
FTTP and 10G PON
Provisioning 10G PON within a DOCSIS B/OSS environment