Fiber to the home (FTTH) is on the rise in North America with an annual growth rate of 76 percent, according to a study released by the FTTH Council, which held its annual Conference and Expo last week in Nashville.

Moreover, the take rate for FTTH services in North America is at 30 percent, and the number of North American homes receiving video over FTTH is at 2.2 million.

"They said no one would ever need or pay for 7 Mb of download speed," said the study’s author, Mike Render of RVA Market Research. "And now we are finding that those concerns are not panning out." FTTH vs. cable The event included some competitive analysis, including some thoughts from at least one technologist who is well-versed both the cable and telco domains.

DOCSIS 3.0 is not the "FTTH killer," that some have made it out to be, according to Jim Farmer, of Enablence Technologies’ Wave7 FTTx Networks Division.

"For every 38 Mb of additional bandwidth it gives him, the cable operator has to sacrifice 10 standard definition TV channels or two HD channels," Farmer was quoted in the FTTH Conference newsletter as saying. "And there’s more HD content coming online every day – so this way of boosting data speeds to the customer is of limited value."

For another competitive analysis of FTTH, specifically Verizon’s FiOS, click here. Attendance and bandwidth demands, up This year’s conference boasted 1,900 attendees, an increase of several hundred over previous years, said Laurie Poole, marketing and communications manager for Legend Conference Planning, the FTTH Conference organizer.

Other speakers focused on the need for FTTH’s bandwidth. Author Don Tapscott, provided an overview of his new book, "Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World."

"He outlined how having (digital technology) in your lifestyle and home totally changes your perspective of how you want to interact in the workplace," Poole said.

"(Attendees) were talking about that and considering its implications for the telecom industry. They appreciate that this is the generation that will increase the demand for bandwidth," she added.

Closing session keynote speaker Brian Mefford, CEO, Connected Nation, called for a national broadband policy. "Everyone (would have) an equal opportunity … that is such a compelling argument for everyone pulling together and saying, ‘This is like electricity. Everyone has a right to electricity,’" Poole recounted.

The show floor included an interactive Home Networking Zone, designed to showcase the FTTH’s capabilities. Twelve companies, including Corning and Hitachi, participated in this exhibit, which was set up to look like a home and had glass walls so the fiber could be seen firsthand.

Other show floor exhibitors included ADC, which showcased its PONy (passive optical network over wavelengths) Express 16; JDSU, which highlighted the MTS/T-BERD-4000 Multiple Services Test Platform; and CommScope, which demonstrated BrightPath, an FTTH solution that can support RF and DOCSIS.

– Monta Monaco Hernon

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at http://www.cable360.net/ct/news/.

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