Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Municipalities, telco coops essential players in fiber to premises deployment

Verizon issued a news release Monday pointing to a study commissioned by the Fiber to the Home Council suggesting that once the U.S. housing market begins to thaw, homebuyers will be hot for fiber. Or as another study issued last November by Google described them, "Homes with Tails."

As the only telco committed to a full fiber to the premises strategy for both brownfields and greenfields with its FiOS product, Verizon clearly has an interest in promoting the concept. The problem is Verizon like other big telcos as well as cable companies have segmented their markets such that locales where fiber would be most the desirable real estate amenity -- such as those that are home to exurban and semi-rural telecommuters and small businesses -- are least likely to see it. The only way these places can expect to get fiber to the premises in the foreseeable future is to start municipal fiber projects and fiber telecommunications cooperatives.

Both types of entities are also good candidates for some of the $7.2 billion in broadband infrastructure subsidies contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law in February as well as likely follow on funding promised by the Obama administration.

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