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U.S. Fiber Penetration Reaches Important Milestone

By Edward Gately
April 19, 2017 - News

U.S. businesses in nearly half of commercial buildings now have access to fiber-based Internet.

That’s according to the latest research from Vertical Systems Group. The annual benchmark figure measures fiber-lit, multi-tenant and company-owned buildings in the United States with 20 or more employees.

The fiber gap, which refers to the remaining commercial buildings with no access to optical fiber facilities, decreased to 50.4 percent in 2016, down from nearly 90 percent in 2004.

“Fiber footprints have been highly valued assets in nearly every merger transaction in the industry during the past two years," said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “The density of fiber-lit buildings’ on-net and geographic reach are significant competitive differentiators. 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."

Active optical fiber is the most widely deployed access technology for the delivery of carrier Ethernet services in the United States, according to the research. Fiber access also is 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.

Vertical Systems Group is a market research and strategic consulting firm specializing in defensible measurement of the networking industry.

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