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Internet Access Options Grow

Broadband has evolved so it means more than just a cable modem or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connection. Now, companies are able to use optical Ethernet links to provide their employees with network access. Market research firm, DellOro Group, expects interest in broadband connections to increase, with new optical Ethernet connections being very popular.In 2009, sales of broadband services dropped by 12 percent, partly because service providers were just putting the needed network infrastructure in place for their optical services and largely because of the global economic dip. DellOro expects a change, with worldwide revenue increasing 3 percent to almost $9 billion in 2010.

The strongest growth is coming from sales of Passive Optical Network (PON) services, which push fiber optic wiring out from carriers networks down to the customer site. Traditionally, these deployments have been hampered by high infrastructure costs and an inability to support more than one service. Those hurdles are now being cleared: The cost of optical wiring has been dropping and the services are now able to support voice and video applications as well as data.

Consequently, DellOro expects that PON access systems will be the fastest growing segment of the market in the next five years. Growth is also anticipated with cable services. Cable operators are migrating to a switched digital video model, which will help to drive sales of their equipment. Interest in DSL services has been declining since 2007, a trend that the market research firm expects to continue in the coming years. In many instances, PON is replacing these services.

Increasingly, small and medium businesses rely on network connections to complete their work. With the volume of information being transmitted on the rise, these companies need inexpensive, simple options to carry their network traffic. Because of the economic uncertainty in 2009, some of these companies may have put their network upgrades on hold. With increased competition driving carriers to innovate, now may be good time for them to examine them again.