Hundreds of small independent telcos, broadband service providers, municipalities and cable TV operators have brought gigabit-enabled, all-fiber service to a total of more than 1.4 million North American homes – about a quarter of all fiber to the home (FTTH) connections on the continent – according to a report from the Fiber-to-the-Home Council.

The study, conducted by RVA Market Research, found that all-fiber networks now are now to 16 percent of homes in North America, with 5.8 million homes now receiving TV, high-speed Internet and/or phone service via these networks.

Mike Render, president of RVA LLC and author of the study, said there are many reasons independent telcos are flocking to FTTH, including the need to replace aging copper lines, the opportunity to include video in their service offerings and, in some cases, the availability of rural broadband loan programs and stimulus funds.

While a large portion of the FTTH deployment thus far has been due to Verizon’s $23 billion investment in overbuilding its wireline service in many areas, the report noted that FTTH is being deployed by more than 750 North American service providers, most of those being small, independent telephone companies that are replacing their copper lines with end-to-end fiber to help ensure their future competitiveness as broadband providers.

Further, the study found that more than 65 percent of small independent telcos that have not upgraded to FTTH said they would “very likely” do so in the future, with another 11 percent saying they were “somewhat likely.” More than 85 percent of those that have deployed FTTH said they would be adding more direct fiber connections going forward.

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