All-fiber deployments to 90% of U.S. households achievable by 2029 - report

fiber conduit
The Fiber Broadband Association says an additional $70 billion is needed to deploy all-fiber networks across 90% of the U.S. by 2029. (Pixabay)

The Fiber Broadband Association released a study that said all-fiber deployments were on pace to hit about 50% of U.S. households by 2025.

Furthermore, the study, which was done with consulting firm Cartesian, found that 90% of the U.S. households could have all-fiber networks by 2029 by increasing current spending by approximately $70 billion. Passing 80% of U.S. households with fiber would require additional spending of $50 billion.

The Fiber Broadband Association said the goal of 90% all-fiber deployments could be reached via "innovative deployment models," government efforts to lower access to essential infrastructure and, most importantly, additional government support.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceTelecom!

The Telecom industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Our subscribers rely on FierceTelecom as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on the intersection of telecom and media. Sign up today to get telecom news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

According to the Fiber Broadband Association's press release, 24% of rural Americans lack access to broadband speeds of 25 Mbps, but less than 2% of urban Americans lack the same broadband access.

“Building all-fiber networks throughout America is not a pipe dream,” said Fiber Broadband Association President and CEO Lisa R. Youngers, in a statement. “We have long known that having access to all-fiber networks is far superior than other technologies in driving economic growth, social interaction, and political engagement. Now we know that deploying all-fiber networks to most parts of the country within the next decade is feasible. If we want to close the digital divide, it is essential that we make all-fiber networks a reality for all of America’s communities.”

While deploying fiber to rural areas would close the digital divide, it would come at a cost that most rural communities can't afford. Whether the U.S. government is willing to get behind all-fiber deployments remains to be seen.

The Federal Communications Commission has been chipping away at the economic challenge of providing broadband to unserved and underserved rural areas. Last Thursday, the FCC authorized more than $112.2 million over the course of the next decade to expand broadband to about 48,000 unserved rural homes and businesses. The grants will go to 16 projects across nine states.

Thursday's announcement marked the fifth round of funding from the FCC's Connect America Fund Phase II Auction and follows a similar $121 million bundle of grants last month.  

RELATED: FCC approves more funding to build out rural broadband

In July, the FCC announced that it had it authorized more than $563 million in funding to expand rural broadband services in 24 states.

Suggested Articles

The personal information of hundreds of thousands of CenturyLink customers was exposed online via an open database that has since been closed.

The number of hyperscale data centers hit a new high-water mark in the third quarter, according to Synergy Research Group.

Comcast Business has extended its broadband and network management capabilities into parts of Canada via a partnership with iTel Networks.