Fiber internet has always been the king of the internet due to its incredible speeds and stability. However, it lags behind when it comes to accessibility. In the United States, many people seek high-speed internet, especially with the increasing number of remote workers and students who rely on reliable internet connections.
Although the majority of users have access to broadband, only a limited number of people can get their hands on fiber optic internet. This is due to the fact that it is still mostly offered in major metropolitan areas by big providers, but this could all change in the next few years.
The Intense Competition in the Broadband Market
Residential internet in the United States is becoming increasingly driven by the battle for market share as the percentage of occupied homes with broadband access reaches 90%. Telcos and carriers are focusing on fiber improvements, while cable and wireless internet providers are strengthening their own networks with DOCSIS 4.0 and fiber of their own. You can perform better by choosing a reliable Wifi service across all areas of operation, such as picking the king satellite antenna for your business.
Behind these improvements is the powerful combination of efforts from private internet providers, such as AT&T, Google, Spectrum Internet, and more, and the federal government. The Biden Administration has always been keen on increasing broadband coverage mostly in rural areas. They have also been establishing programs that are focused on better high-speed internet access across the country.
Some of their most notable programs are the Emergency Broadband Benefit and the recent Affordable Connectivity Program. These subsidies will surely fuel the battle between internet providers in the future.
Fiber Optic Internet in the US
By 2022, it’s safe to say that all-fiber network deployments will be widespread. At this point, RVA LLC Market Research and Consulting estimates that fiber broadband will reach more than 60.5 million residences in the United States alone by the year 2021, a 12 percent increase. In terms of capacity, reliability, latency, and customer happiness, fiber deployments outperform all other broadband technologies, including cable, satellite, and wireless.
Based on interruptions reported by customers and random speed testing, fiber-based broadband had the highest speeds and lowest latency in an RVA survey, with an average net promoter score of 20 percent. Growth in fiber to the house (FTTH) is being fueled by an increase in copper to fiber migrations. In addition, the new optical line terminal (OLT) investments enabling 1 Gbps and up to 10 Gbps symmetrical speeds are expected to accelerate this trend in 2022, according to experts.
Fiber Internet and Major Telcos
For many major telcos, expanding fiber coverage is a primary priority. At the end of 2021, AT&T had more than 6 million fiber customers, an increase of more than 1 million customers. That’s why in 2022, the telecommunications company expects to see an increase in the number of fiber subscribers.
During the final three months of the year, AT&T Fiber added 271,000 new users. Its average revenue per unit (ARPU) increased by 4.2 percent, while revenues from broadband services increased by 5.4%. Overall, broadband revenues amounted to $2.32 billion, an increase from the previous year’s total of $2.22 billion.
In spite of this, AT&T isn’t resting on its couches. Nearly 5.2 million subscriber locations in more than 70 metro areas, including Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Dallas, have just received 2 and 5 Gbps tiers for both residential and commercial properties.
On the other hand, Verizon, a rival telecommunications company, saw its Fios Internet subscriber base expand by 55,000 during the fourth quarter. Verizon announced a year-over-year increase in Fios Internet subscribers of 360,000 in 2021, the greatest annual performance since 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2021, total Fios revenues were $3.2 billion, up 5.7% from the previous year.
Meanwhile, at the end of the 2021 3Q, Lumen had 2.7 million fiber-enabled locations after rebranding its FTTH division as Quantum Fiber. The year 2021 was a turning point in Lumen’s history. About a quarter of its legacy incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) businesses, the majority of which are located in rural areas, were to be sold to Apollo Funds as part of a deal announced in August. These states are more metropolitan and suburban in nature.
Will Fiber Dominate This Year?
As we can see, there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to fiber optic internet in the United States. Not only is the technology becoming more widespread, but major telcos are also expanding their coverage areas and increasing speeds. With all of this growth, it’s safe to say that fiber optics will dominate broadband in 2022.