Fiber Buildouts in 2017– A Look at Fiber Deployment Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities
In 2016, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked the US as having
the highest number of broadband users in the world, but the US still ranks low (#22) in fiber adoption, lagging
behind countries such as Japan and South Korea. Even considering the number of fiber initiatives that are
bringing lightning-fast connections to a number of cities across the nation, broadband infrastructure is still lacking, most notably in rural areas.
In fact, today a mere 11% of US broadband subscribers receive their services over a fiber connection. Lacking access to fiber-based connectivity is more than just an inconvenience. A 2016 research report, “The Impact of Broadband and Related Information and Communications Technologies on the American Economy”, references a study that shows that areas with access to broadband had stronger job gains and business growth than those that did not.
As we look into 2017, we continue to witness the growing demand for bandwidth as the primary driver for fiber buildouts. The continued surge of mobile computing devices, bandwidth-intensive online activities, such as streaming high-definition video, “anytime, anywhere” mobile broadband access, and the Internet of Things (IoT) all help to ensure that the demand for fiber connections will continue to increase and, eventually, we believe fiber will replace slower, copper-based connections.
With these trends come both challenges and opportunities.