Aggressive Fiber to the X (FTTX) deployments by large U.S. and European incumbent service providers in 2009 helped to increase the availability of "last mile" business fiber by 22.9 percent and 15.1 percent of all business sites.
However, Vertical Systems Group argues that significant gaps continue to exist. While most large U.S. and European enterprise sites have fiber connectivity to power their Gbps-speed Ethernet and IP VPN services, small and medium sized business (SMB) continue to remain underserved with fiber.
The obvious challenge with extending fiber to SMBs or remote offices of large enterprises is not so much a technology issue, but rather a business issue. Taking the time to get necessary permits in place to trench fiber and construction costs are hard to justify if the connection is going to serve only a dozen people. Unless an SMB is lucky enough to be situated near a neighborhood where Verizon is bringing its Fiber to the Premise-based FiOS service, SMBs will have to continue to rely on traditional circuit-based technology (DSL and T1) and the ever-aggressive cable operator that's offering a mix of Ethernet over HFC and traditional DOCSIS-based data services.
"Larger enterprises are the primary beneficiaries of new fiber installations, which have been focused on business parks and metro areas with high population densities," said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "The challenge ahead is to extend fiber connectivity to remote business locations. For the U.S. plus countries throughout Europe, this fiber gap exceeds more than one million sites."
- see the release here