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Fiber expected to add 23.2 million U.S. homes passed by 2028

Fiber expected to add 23.2 million U.S. homes passed by 2028

One hundred fifty billion dollars in new funding is expected to add an additional 59.3 million U.S. homes to be reached by fiber over the next five years, according to the latest research from RVA Market Research & Consulting, with a total of over 137 million U.S. homes passed by fiber by 2028.  At the end of 2023, 78 million U.S. homes were passed by fiber with a total of 5.1 million route miles of fiber construction completed. An additional 4.2 million route miles of fiber is expected to be added over the next five years.

“We’re looking at the unprecedented capital that’s available from many sources,” said Michael Render, Founder and CEO, RVA LLC. “First of all, we’ve got the government sources, which everyone knows about. It’s not only BEAD, it’s also all the other programs where we’ve gone back and tracked our estimate of when those actually will be going to providers. In addition to the BEAD being layered on top of that, we’ve got a record capital from private equity companies who are realizing how important this is now, and how secure and good investment fiber is. And then of course, you’ve got companies reinvesting their own capital into construction. All of this makes for a rather spectacular period.”

Render noted that the RVA five-year U.S. FTTH forecast for 2024-2028 has been reduced to factor in potential constraints expected to come into play during the second half of the projected timeframe. Network operators have concerns around workforce shortages, rising costs, work process constraints such as approvals and access, and materials shortages slowing the pace of deployment. Smaller operators are also concerned about BEAD requirements and regulation being significant obstacles to participating in the NTIA grant program.

“This is really a peak period [for fiber deployment],” said Render. “It’s very important to get strategy right up front. In the past, people [could] make missteps, then still correct. There won’t be as much time in this coming period to correct errors. It’s very important to get set, to get information, set strategies going into this period.”

To learn more about RVA’s advice on how to prepare and be successful in building fiber networks over the next five years, tune into the latest Fiber for Breakfast.