As of April 2011, fiber to the home services were available to almost one in five homes (18 percent) of North American homes according to a recent report done by market research firm RVA LLC.
FTTH connectivity is notable because it allows telecommunications providers to offer numerous services such as high definition television along with very fast internet speeds.
RVA estimates that there are now over half a million North American households receiving FTTH service with connection speeds of at least 50 Mbps. Of those, about one-third (170,000 North American households) receive FTTH service with connection speeds of at least 100 megabits per second. RVA says these figures are more than double those from last year's survey report.
The largest FTTH provider in Canada is Bell Aliant which operates in Atlantic Canada. Branded as FibreOP, Aliant expects to have FTTH service available to over 600,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2012.
The survey of more than 2,000 broadband subscribers also found that overall satisfaction among FTTH users continues to lead that of other broadband subscribers, with those answering "very satisfied" at 74 percent - up from 71 percent a year ago - compared to 54 percent for cable users and 51 percent for DSL.
With regard to consumer-tested download speeds, FTTH households continue to outpace subscribers of other services, with average speeds now at 19.7 Mbps - up from 16.6 Mbps in last year's survey - compared to an average 13.3 Mbps for cable households and 2.9 Mbps for DSL. On upload performance, the relative gap between FTTH and cable modem was wider, with FTTH subscribers averaging 5.4 Mbps and cable subs averaging 2.7 Mbps, with 0.7 Mbps average upload speed for DSL.
"This year's survey shows that end-to-end fiber services are extending their lead over other broadband technologies in speed, value and customer satisfaction," said Dan O'Connell, President of the FTTH Council. "We expect this trend will continue as bandwidth requirements for the latest video and other applications continue to accelerate, and growing numbers of consumers expect to be able to access them through their telecommunications providers."
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