Survey: Rural Telcos Plan More FTTH Networks

  • Broadband Competition
  • Broadband Penetration
  • FTTH
  • FTTN
ARLINGTON, VA - A new survey by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) reveals that small rural communications providers are deploying fiber at an impressive pace, bringing faster high-speed broadband service to America's rural communities.

NTCA's 2009 Broadband/Internet Availability Survey found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents with a fiber deployment strategy intend to offer fiber to the node to more than 75 percent of their customer base by 2011. Fifty-five percent plan to offer fiber to the home to more than half their customers in that same time frame - more than doubled from just 26 percent last year.

Rural areas are seeing significant gains in broadband speeds, primarily due to the increased fiber availability in their communities, according to the survey. Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated their customers can now receive broadband service of between 3 and 6 Mbps (up from 46 percent last year), and 39 percent can receive service in excess of 6 Mbps - an increase from just 25 percent one year ago. Survey respondents indicated an increase in take rates for the higher broadband speed tiers as well.

Fiber deployment costs remain a significant impediment facing rural carriers, cited as an obstacle by 93 percent of survey respondents. Rugged terrain, distance and low customer density exacerbate the problem.

Three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents now offer a video play, up from 68 percent last year. Of those, 93 percent offer video under a cable franchise. An additional 11 percent indicated they plan a video offering in the future. Most (89 percent) of the respondents indicated they face competition in the provision of advanced services from at least one other service provider, including national Internet service providers, cable companies and wireless Internet service providers.

View the survey report

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