12 Mar Fiber growth hit record numbers in 2017 fueled by smaller FTTH providers
Unlocking maintenance savings is key to winning the race in 2018
According to a Fiber Broadband Association report, Canadian FTTH providers led growth in 2017 with a 45% increase in homes marketed. In the U.S., annual deployment hit a new record last year – a whopping 4.4 million increase in homes marketed, marking a 15% growth over 2016.
While consumer demand is driving rapid growth of fiber networks, the Fiber Broadband Association credits increased participation of smaller FTTH providers. Deployment growth from the largest providers grew at a rate of 14.1%, while the smaller providers had 16.5% deployment growth.
The race is on
FTTH providers, both large and small, are racing to win the hearts and minds of consumers, which requires significant investments in infrastructure, marketing, and customer service. Suppliers are also stepping up to build capacity for growing demand. Corning recently opened a new cable manufacturing facility, a step forward in its previously-announced plan to invest more than $250 million in optical fiber, cable, and solutions manufacturing facilities.
For providers, the key to winning this race lies in finding ways to cost-effectively deliver quality service and support. It all comes down to costs and risks, according to outside plant management experts at Norscan. “Locating is typically the single-largest and most overlooked cost in maintaining buried fiber optic cable,” says Maurice Dequier, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Unlock big savings in your maintenance budget
Dequier points to touchless locates as a way to unlock big savings in your network maintenance budget. Traditional cable locating methods, using a portable transmitter / receiver, can quickly but quietly escalate maintenance budgets. “Most providers don’t give cable locating a lot of thought – it’s business as usual. Those who do, though, are performing locates at a fraction of the cost – about half!”
Touchless locating eliminates most of the manual steps required in traditional cable locates. A permanent transmitter installed at your central office/headend is remotely activated by the technician using a cell phone. With one phone call, the touchless locating equipment places a signal on the cable and technicians are ready to locate using any standard receiver – no outside plant access required. It cuts your locate costs in half, giving you full return on investment in one year.
Even if you focus squarely on the short-term benefits, touchless cable locating offers compelling advantages you can’t ignore. It can be an excellent way to unlock big savings in often-overlooked expenses.