Show Us The Money

By Robert Carpenter | December 2008 Vol. 63 No. 12

The presidential and Congressional elections of 2008 are over. For better or worse, our nation’s course seems set for the next four years. Economic stimulus talk is running rampant again in Washington. God help us, maybe they’ll get it right and make public works, especially underground infrastructure, a key part of any stimulus package?

Second nature

Fast internet and digital television are part of the new technology tidal wave that seems to be continuing unabated around the country, even the world. Not only is that good news for telecom contractors, but we’re also experiencing what I term the “telephone phenomenon.”

During tough economic times, people naturally look to cut back in any reasonable fashion. Often times, that means dropping unnecessary services. Of course, cutting water and sewer service is not an option. Historically, telephone service has been viewed as an essential service as well. Telephones are our lifeline, our communication with the outside world. We simply can’t do without telephone service.

One might think that fast internet is a natural service to be cut. But that’s not the case (at least not yet). As the recession hits hard, people are still trying to find things to cut while keeping their internet service. We rely on the internet for instant news, sports, gossip, social networking. For many, the internet is how we pay our bills, do our online banking, find movie times. The internet is where our kids do their homework and how college students do research and communicate with peers around the globe. The internet has become vital to our culture in ways we don’t even realize.

A recent study commissioned by the Fiber-To-The-Home Council shows that the number of U.S. customers directly connected to fiber optic networks with fiber service lines continues to grow at a very high rate. In fact, the study showed an annual growth rate for FTTH at 76 percent, the highest in the world.

The study documented that more than 1.6 million households were connected to fiber networks with fiber services, bringing the total fibertothepremises (FTTP) connections in the U.S. to 3.76 million.

The study also found that "take rate" increased to 30 percent. Details of this revealing study are here.


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