According to Vertical Systems Group, business fiber penetration increased to 27.7% in the US by the end of 2010, which is a substantial increase from the 22.9% they reported last year. The fiber penetration in Europe rose at a similar rate to 18.4% from 15.1%, still lagging the US by a couple of years. According to VSG, demand for higher speed Ethernet services was a primary driver for the increase - seems likely we'll hear that again next year too.
That more businesses have fiber access is a no-brainer of course, it can only go up - it's just a matter of how fast. But for 4.8% of US sites to go from non-fiber to fiber in a single year is nice to see. It was of course the FTTN/FTTH rollouts by the ILECs that drove most of that, as residential fiber rollouts also bring easier connectivity to neighboring commercial sites. Competitive fiber is in most cases still focusing on larger sites and therefore is less of a factor when looking at the much larger bottom of the enterprise pyramid.
It's important of course to note just what that percentage is of since statistics are so easily fudged, and I'm glad to see such statistics properly qualified. For VSG it is "% of Buildings with 20+ Employees", so it does neglect some part of the the "S" in the SMB even still. But one has to cut things off somewhere. As one might expect, the SMB still gets the short end of the stick overall even in the reported data, but VSG suggests that new fiber activity there was up substantially.
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