U.S. Business Fiber Gap Drops to Half

  • Vertical Systems Group
BOSTON — The U.S. Fiber Gap continued to narrow in 2016 as business fiber penetration in commercial buildings grew to 49.6 percent, according to latest research from Vertical Systems Group, a market research and strategic consulting firm specializing in quantification of the networking industry. This annual benchmark figure quantifies fiber-lit multi-tenant and company-owned buildings in the U.S. with twenty or more employees. The Fiber Gap, which refers to the remaining commercial buildings with no access to optical fiber facilities, has progressively dropped to 50.4 percent in 2016, down from nearly 90 percent in 2004.


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Active optical fiber is the most widely deployed access technology for the delivery of Carrier Ethernet services in the U.S. Fiber access is also preferred by service providers and business customers for higher speed dedicated connectivity to the internet, Cloud services, Data Centers, Hybrid VPNs, and emerging SDN-enabled services.

“Fiber footprints have been highly valued assets in nearly every merger transaction in the industry during the past two years. The density of fiber lit buildings on-net and geographic reach are significant competitive differentiators,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “For 2017, network providers report that fiber footprint expansion is the top factor that will drive Carrier Ethernet growth and support rising demand for other gigabit-speed services.”

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