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2019 Fiber Connect Recap
First off, I want to thank everyone that came by the AFL booth at the 2019 Fiber Connect in Orlando, Fla. We know there’s no shortage of entertainment in the Orlando area, so it means a lot to us that we had such steady traffic and engaging conversations with visitors. In the case that we missed you, I’ll provide a rundown of what AFL showcased along with some of the larger trends I took away from the show.
AFL, staying true to our constant strive for innovation, showcased two new products at the show – the FOCIS Lightning Multi-Fiber Connector Inspection System and the OptiNID® Duo Optical Demarcation Enclosure. Both of these products share a common goal – improve speed of deployment and lower the learning curve for users. Other new products were showcased such as the ASCEND™ high density platform, Fujikura CT50 fiber cleaver and Fujikura 31S and 41S fusion splicers.
While FTTH network builds by the larger Tier 1 providers in the US has slowed, an RVA study estimates only approximately 19 million homes are connected with fiber out of 39 million homes with service available. This means that as consumer bandwidth needs continue to increase, approximately 20 million customers have fiber available to them but have not yet taken service. This leads to equipment for drop technicians still being a major need, such as drop cable, compact fusion splicer machines, test and inspection equipment, cleaning tools and fiber demarcation enclosures.
While FTTH Tier 1 builds have slowed, a large market opportunity has begun to arise with rural electric cooperatives building their own fiber networks or partnering with other providers to build these networks to service their members. A 2018 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association survey estimated $68 billion loss in economic value due to a lack of broadband access for 6.3 million homes. Many of our booth visitors at Fiber Connect represented electric cooperatives that are either currently building or investigating building FTTx networks. AFL’s strong position in the energy market segment was on display as we demonstrated our Follow the Power approach and our custom-tailored product solutions for these type of builds.
Again, if you stopped by the booth, thank you and we hope you provide AFL more opportunities to show our innovative solution sets to meet your needs. If you weren’t at the show or simply didn’t make it by the booth, please reach out to us and we can discuss how AFL solutions can work for you.