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Optical fiber cable, already used by businesses as high speed links for long distance voice and data traffic, has tremendous data capacity, with transmission speeds dramatically higher than what is offered by cable modem or DSL broadband technology. While the high cost of installing optical fiber in or near users’ homes has been a major barrier to the deployment of FTTH, several providers are rolling out fiber-based architectures that will offer consumers voice, video, and high-speed data (sometimes referred to as a “triple play”).
Some public utilities are also exploring or beginning to offer broadband access via fiber inside their existing conduits. Additionally, some companies are investigating the feasibility of transmitting data over power lines, which are already ubiquitous in people’s homes.