Other cities in the world are stepping up to Fiber to the Home (FTTH) or Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) networks. They have climbed above second class status with FTTP networks of one sort or another. Most are not as advanced or robust as the citywide open access Ethernet FTTP network planned for Palo Alto. The big difference is that those highlighted on iPaloAlto Other Cities pages are real or coming soon; the citywide Palo Alto FTTP network is still in the planning stage.
Palo Alto/Silicon Valley cannot be expected to continue delivering world class innovation to high tech, green tech, and the life sciences while being underserved by second class incumbent ‘networks on the cheap.’ The answer for Palo Alto/Silicon Valley must be to promptly and significantly upgrade our network capabilities while lowering our service costs. Palo Alto/Silicon Valley cannot afford to become ‘road kill’ in the innovation race. America cannot risk this either.
United States: about 30 municipal FTTH networks are serving customers now, with more to come. Verizon has taken the lead among U.S. incumbent providers by bringing closed FTTH passive optical networks (PON) to many, primarily east coast, communities and about 2.5 million subscribers under their FiOS brand.
A regrettable pattern has developed showing the United States slipping ever-further behind world leaders in broadband connectivity ranking, the U.S. is now 15th and falling, even though broadband in the U.S. is politically defined at a ridiculously low speed of 756 Kbps down/256 Kbps up. The FCC is expected to raise this bar soon, then we will see where America really stands versus the rest of the world in broadband availability and adoption.
In most other industrialized countries, the number of other cities with Fiber to the Home (FTTH) or Premise (FTTP) networks has begun to grow rapidly.
Asia: Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea lead the way with fiber. Singapore just announced their FTTP PON network and other Asian cities are entering the competition.
Europe: the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands have had community networks deploying fiber, some for nearly a decade. France suddenly caught fire in 2006 with a public/private community fiber strategy that is interconnecting the country’s communities with fiber quite rapidly. Great Britain is gradually coming to the FTTH party.
North America: the Canadian province of Alberta took the fiber lead in 2001 with the 9,300 mile Alberta SuperNet, 87% of which is fiber. But elsewhere in Canada, Bell Canada and others are choosing to milk their cash cow legacy networks at the expense of users throughout the provinces.