Today, the Fiber Broadband Association and strategy consulting firm Cartesian released a study that explores the costs associated with deploying all-fiber networks to all households across the entire United States. More than 19 million Americans lack access to broadband — and the vast majority live in rural communities. In fact, 24% of rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps service, but less than 2% of urban Americans lack this same broadband access. Deploying fiber in rural communities will be a key step to solving the digital divide in the United States.
The study finds that:
- Today, we are on a pace to deploy all-fiber networks to about 50% of US households by 2025.
- These accelerated all-fiber builds are driven by increasing consumer demand for higher performance broadband, provider willingness to focus on long-term returns, and government efforts to lower barriers to deployment costs and provide targeted subsidies.
- By 2029, we can pass 90% of US households by increasing current spending on all-fiber networks by approximately an additional $70B. (Passing 80% of U.S. households with fiber will require spending approximately an additional $50B.)
- We can achieve this objective and ensure virtually everyone has access to future-proof networks through innovative deployment models, government efforts to lower access to essential infrastructure, and efficiently provided government support.