The North American Fiber Market
In October 2020, the FCC established a 5G Fund for Rural America offering $9bn of funding over 10 years. The investments will be allocated through a reverse auction in two phases and will be focused on helping to connect underserved rural areas with 5G connectivity.
In January 2020, the FCC established the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to ensure continued and rapid deployment of broadband networks to unserved Americans. The fund commits up to $20.4bn over the next decade to support up to gigabit-speed broadband networks in rural America.
In November 2021, the US Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve the country’s infrastructure and competitiveness, including dedicating $65bn for broadband access. The broadband funds will be distributed through several programs, and the aims of the programs are to close the digital divide and lower broadband prices.
In 2023, FWA will be a trend to watch
The inroads that fixed wireless access (FWA; 5G and LTE) has made in recent quarters, represent a big shift in the US telecom market. What has changed in the US is the mix of broadband technologies, with FWA beginning to grow strongly in the last year. In fact, leading cable operators, Comcast and Charter, saw impacts on their broadband subscription growth from the new FWA competition, specifically in 2Q22. FWA’s low pricing during high inflation times and its “newness” are likely factors that drove this growth.
In 2023, FWA will be a trend to watch—whether the strong growth will continue or if the growth will moderate