"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.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
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Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results