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Fiber-Optics Now Reaching 39.3 Percent of US Businesses with 20 or More Employees

April 08, 2014

Fiber-Optics Now Reaching 39.3 Percent of US Businesses with 20 or More Employees

By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer

The first telephone wires were made of iron or steel, but problems with corrosion and noise eventually led to copper after Thomas Doolittle developed a process for hard-drawn copper wire in 1877. Since that time copper has been used to transmit voice, data and video reliably for more than 130 years, but the massive amounts of skyrocketing data being created today is highlighting the limitations of this technology. Businesses, consumers and everyone in between is choosing fiber technology because of the almost unlimited bandwidth it offers along with its long reach, low cost, reliability and zero interference.

While consumers and public organizations have migrated to fiber much faster than businesses, an article on reveals they are also making progress. The result of a new report by Vertical Systems Group reveals 39.3 percent of commercial buildings with 20 or more employees have adopted fiber technology in 2013, a 3 percent increase from 2012. The report classifies the remaining 60.7 percent of buildings as being in the 'Fiber Gap' because of their lack of accessibility to fiber.

The research covered large enterprises and SMBs for a nine-year period between 2004 and 2013 with building sizes ranging from 20-50 employees, 51-100 employees, 101-250 employees and more than 250 employees.

As businesses continue to integrate mobile devices within their organization and migrate to cloud technology, fiber will be an essential component for making it possible. Fiber can deliver much higher-speed network services for organizations of all sizes without limitations and lower CapEX/OpEx.

According to most experts, the large capacity that fiber provides will last for the next 25 years or more without having to rip out the infrastructure every time an upgrade is needed, as with copper. Fiber is cheaper, thinner, lighter, more flexible, consumes less power and can extend up to 300 times farther than copper out from the electronics.

"During the past year, network operators narrowed the business fiber gap through construction and acquisitions,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “The majority of new fiber deployments were focused on connecting medium and smaller buildings in the metro areas surrounding major cities across the U.S. Broader accessibility to on-net fiber has started to shake up the services markets. Fiber-based providers and Cable MSOs are capitalizing on the reach and cost advantages of their footprints juxtaposed to legacy infrastructures." 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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