United States has a Need for Speed
Thursday, April 10, 2014
The United States is beginning to wake up to the benefits of Fiber to the Home (FTTH). Currently, only 7.7% of broadband subscribers have optical fiber connections, which means that many companies and individuals are seeking places that give them access to faster connection speeds. This gives them an edge, allowing them to be more competitive and better connected.
The United States is lagging, ranking only 14th in the world for fiber connectivity. Countries like Sweden, where fiber-optic networks are increasingly accessible, can create thriving technology hubs, which boost potential to develop future advances in technology. Connections in New York cost 4 times as much as those in Stockholm, and are 17 times slower!
The adoption of FTTH has been slow in the United States. This is due in part to the way utilities are managed in the country, frequently leaving it to cable and telecom companies to develop faster connections and part to overly restrictive City and State ordinance, as well as historical charters which are no longer suitable for modern day infrastructure investment of such magnitude.
A few municipalities that have existing public utilities have gained access to FTTH. This provides a faster connection at a lower price. In Wilson, North Carolina a connection for FTTH could cost $150 a month, while the same service in Hollywood could cost $1,500-$3,000. However, cities without existing electric utilities are now beginning to encourage telecom and cable companies to develop FTTH networks, through easing of city ordinances and relaxation of permitting processes, such as Louisville and Los Angeles. Cities proactively engaging with the private sector will only increase their chances to break the fiber deadlock, and make FTTH a reality in their communities.
It’s not just the Cities that can help advocate the sector, other organisations are trying to stimulate FTTH accessibility, through creative means. Entities such as Gig U led by Blair Levin, are seeking to develop fiber networks to over 30 universities across the United States, using their collective strength and reputation to encourage investment where there is a vast demand.
SiFi Networks believes in Cities taking advantage of the opportunities to install future-proof FTTH networks. Broadband is no longer an entertainment medium but a utility as valuable to a community’s growth for the next 100 years as electricity and water. Our FOCUS™ Technology and FiberCity™ solutions are unique answers to the questions of making FTTH a reality.