September 2014, Vol. 69, No. 9


Survey Says: Fiber’s Speed Changing The Way We Use The Internet

The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas has released the results of a survey by RVA LLC, revealing new data on the usage and impact of fiber to the home networks in North America.

“After surveying broadband consumers for seven years, two trends are very clear,” said Michael Render, RVA president. “First, the importance of broadband to the consumer lifestyle increases with each passing year and second, end-to-end fiber optic networks are becoming more and more differentiated from other types of broadband in terms of performance, use, and perception.”

“The numbers in this survey represent what we hear from FTTH communities every day – fiber is fast, reliable and ready to meet their growing needs,” added Heather Burnett Gold, president of the FTTH Council But fiber is also letting people do more, from high-bandwidth health care applications to powering the many connected devices in a modern home. The impact of fiber is large and growing.”

Major findings from the 2014 survey include:
• More people have fiber, and more providers are offering faster speeds: There are 10.4 million homes connected to fiber in North America compared with 9.7 million in May 2013 and there are now 58 providers offering gigabit-per-second packages.
• The need for faster broadband at home continues to grow: Users report now spending over five hours a day at home online and are aware of 5.5 Internet ready devices in the home. Broadband users under age 35 now report getting slightly over half of their video content from online sources.
• Satisfaction rates are far higher for FTTH than all other types of broadband: Consumers say higher satisfaction is based on both reliability and speed. Based on speed testing during the survey, those with fiber optics all the way to the residence enjoy far better performance. Comparing both ends of the spectrum in terms of performance, FTTH versus DSL, FTTH is now five times faster on download speeds and 23 times faster on upload speeds.
• Fiber optic Internet is changing lifestyles: Based on consumer estimates of the percent of time waiting for applications to load – “gears turning” – FTTH consumers are far more productive. Compared again with the slowest type of broadband, FTTH consumers spend 49 fewer annual hours waiting for things to load. FTTH users work from home more often and enjoy a home value premium of over $5,000 versus other types of broadband.

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