Analysts predict robust growth for FTTP buildouts

The pipeline for fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) projects is strong, according to a research report from Wells Fargo analysts who looked at recent statements and filings from companies such as CenturyLink, AT&T, Verizon and others.

According to the report, in a June 24 filing with the FCC, AT&T (NYSE: T) committed to deploying FTTP to 11.7 million homes in the four years following the upcoming close of the DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) deal.

In addition, CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) in May disclosed that it has extended FTTP to 490,000 business locations in 17 states, with 100,000 GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Networking) deployments to businesses occurring between May and the end of 2015. The carrier also is deploying fiber to homes and to 21,800 towers within its footprint.

One driving factor behind this fiber push is that as part of the first phase of the FCC's Connect America Fund, $438 million was provided to broadband providers to outfit 1.6 million Americans with broadband connectivity. The second phase, which gets underway in August, is expected to provide nearly $9 billion in funding to provide broadband service to another 5 million Americans. Both efforts are focused on rural areas.

To emphasize the scale of AT&T's FTTP commitment to 11.7 million FTTP deployments over four years, the analysts note that the peak year of Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) FiOS effort involved making FTTP available to 3 million homes. Verizon has made FiOS available to nearly 20 million homes.

A number of other ILECs and cable companies are also deploying fiber. Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has indicated plans to deploy FTTP to 18 million homes this year. In June, Hawaiian Telecom said it was deploying fiber to 96,000 locations. TDS is planning to deploy fiber to 25 percent of the households in its footprint by year-end.

For more:
- see this FCC press release

Related articles:
AT&T to extend 1 Gbps service to 11.7M locations following completion of DirecTV acquisition
FCC's Connect America Fund II receives mixed response
Verizon says it saves more than 60% by converting copper to fiber
Comcast to challenge Google Fiber, AT&T's 1 Gbps broadband play with 2 Gbps plan