While WiFi gets lots of press in the US, fiber seems to be making big splashes abroad. Countries like Lithuania, Slovenia and Norway are rolling out FTTH networks with speeds up to 1Gbps while Asia's FTTH base in Japan, Korea and Singapore is growing at a brisk pace. The number of worldwide broadband subscribers is expected to double in the next 5 years with fiber solutions comprising over 10% of those connections. Old-school pokey DSL, a technology that leverages antiquated copper networks, is expected to still be the world-wide dominator though mainly in under-developed countries that can't invest in new fiber networks.
Currently, the demand for high-speed fiber is rapidly making DSL and cable modems the new dial-up, leaving them in the dust in terms of speed, responsiveness and uptime. Users of Verizon's FIOS usually can't find anything but praise for the service and every UTOPIA and iProvo subscriber I've met is pleased as punch. Users of DSL and cable, however, usually have nothing but complaints about low speeds, poor service and unexplained outages. Them's the breaks of copper.