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Fiber to the home networks grow in number

Roughly 936 communities in 47 states have access to fiber networks that extend directly to people's homes to deliver broadband services, according to new statistics published by the Fiber to the Home Council and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) on Wednesday.

About 280 of the 936 communities have been added to the list since October 2005, the groups said in a press release. Of those with fiber access, about 671,000 homes were connected to fiber in the past six months.

Most of the deployments have been made by regional phone companies and competitive phone companies, according to the updated list of communities with FTTH. Verizon Communications is spending billions of dollars to build its fiber to the home network called Fios. At the end of 2005, the company said it had passed 3 million homes with fiber. And it expects to pass another 3 million homes in 2006.

About 27 of the fiber networks listed in the report have been completed by municipalities. Phone companies and cable companies have been lobbying local and state governments over the past few years to put restrictions on cities and towns deploying their own communications networks.