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FBA provides update on status of broadband in the US

The Fiber Broadband Association released a new study, authored by RVA LLC Market Research & Consulting (RVA), entitled “A Detailed Review: The Status of U.S. Broadband and The Impact of Fiber Broadband.” This comprehensive annual report highlights five key areas of impact: Digital Equity, Performance, Sustainability, Economic Impact, and Quality of Life/Personal Productivity. These key highlights illustrate why the U.S. has begun the largest fiber broadband investment cycle in history. Nearly $130 billion in federal, state, and local subsidies are being invested from the Competitive Carriers’ Association, the American Rescue Plan Act, the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, the NTIA, the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service ReConnect loan and grant program, and most recently the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

“This investment in fiber as the critical broadband infrastructure for the nation’s future will further accelerate innovation and the next phase of the internet – the Metaverse,” said Gary Bolton, President and CEO at the Fiber Broadband Association. “As every American becomes connected with future-proof fiber broadband, consumers and businesses will begin to leverage the amazing future that is in store for all of us as digital equity reaches everyone, regardless of where they live.”

Highlights from the study include:

Digital Equity

  • Lowest density zip codes have service levels with 1/3 the bandwidth of high-density areas
  • 58% of broadband adopters in the past 4 years are low income
  • 37% of broadband adopters in the past 4 years are non-white households

Performance

  • Fiber has 45% faster download and 4.7x faster upload speeds than cable
  • Fiber has reduced the cost per bit by 90% over the past decade
  • Fiber has half the latency of cable
  • Fiber providers’ Net Promoter Scores are significantly better

Sustainability

  • Fiber delivers 20% more carbon savings than DSL and 40% more than cable HFC
  • Overall, fiber shows the highest net reduction in carbon based on transmission itself and the impact of enabling work from home

Economic Impact

  • 47% of rural moves are to areas with fiber
  • Over $78 million per year of additional primary revenue from home-based businesses could be gained from an FTTH community of 100,000 households

Quality of Life / Personal Productivity

72% of consumers rank broadband as very important
Broadband is a Top Three attribute for selecting a community (in addition to safe streets / low crime and affordable living)
Homes with fiber have better access to healthcare and education

This study is one of the longest running and most comprehensive U.S. consumer internet research studies in existence. It is primarily built on RVA consumer research which has been annually sponsored by the Fiber Broadband Association since 2006. RVA consumer studies focusing on U.S. (and Canadian) internet use have been conducted each year among online consumers with sample sizes ranging from 2,000 – 4,500. The 2022 edition, conducted in March, has a sample size of 3,000.

Mike Render, Founder and CEO of RVA, will present findings from the 2022 study on an episode of Fiber for Breakfast on August 31, 2022, at 10:00am EDT. Additional presenters during the episode include Deborah Kish, Vice President of Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association, and John George, Senior Director of Solutions and Professional Services and OFS and Chair of the Fiber Broadband Association’s Technology Committee.

CT Bureau

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