Optical fiber facilities now reach 36.1 percent of commercial buildings in the United States, according to new statistics from Vertical Systems Group.
That leaves the remaining 63.9 percent stuck in the so-called "fiber gap," where there is no access to fiber-based network services, the research firm said.
However, despite that gap, the availability of business fiber has more than tripled since 2004, when the penetration rate was 10.9 percent.
"Direct fiber is clearly the preferred access technology for carrier Ethernet services, as well as for higher speed connectivity to IP VPNs, cloud-based applications and the Internet," said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Enterprise customers prefer direct fiber due to the benefits of scalability to multigigabit speeds plus lower bandwidth costs as compared to other access options. The U.S. fiber gap has been steadily closing each year and this trend will continue. A top growth challenge cited by both retail and wholesale network operators is the expansion of their fiber footprints as rapidly as possible to meet customer demand for higher-speed services."