EPHRATA - It appears that Grant PUD and other utility districts in the region are on pace with the rest of America in making fiber internet available to almost everyone in the near future according to one study.
On Tuesday, the Fiber Broadband Association and strategy consulting firm Cartesian released a study stating that 90% of U.S. households will have access to fiber internet by 2029.
The study suggests that the accelerated fiber builds are driven by increasing consumer demand for high performance internet, provider willingness to focus on long-term returns and government efforts to lower barriers to deployments costs and provide targeted subsidies.
Researchers believe an additional $70-billion will be spent on fiber network expansion within the next nine years. The study believes the vast expansion of fiber infrastructure will be achieved through innovative deployment models, government efforts to lower access to essential infrastructure and efficiently provided government support.
“Building all-fiber networks throughout America is not a pipe dream,” said Lisa R. Youngers, President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association. “We have long known that having access to all-fiber networks is far superior than other technologies in driving economic growth, social interaction, and political engagement. Now we know that deploying all-fiber networks to most parts of the country within the next decade is feasible. If we want to close the digital divide, it is essential that we make all-fiber networks a reality for all of America’s communities.”
Despite recent progress, more than 19 million Americans lack access to broadband - and the clear majority of them live in rural communities. According to the FBA, 24% of rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps service, but less than 2% of urban Americans lack this same broadband access.
Grant PUD officials say the utility district is on pace to providing fiber internet access to 100% of its residents by 2025.