Wednesday, September 21, 2005

UTOPIA Take Rate

According to Light Reading, the UTOPIA project has signed up only 500 customers out of the 5,000 to 8,000 currently reached by the network. Light Reading seems to think that's a bad thing.

According to the UTOPIA project's website, they began construction in 2004. And according to my math, 500 out of 5,000 to 8,000 is somewhere between 6.25% and 10%.

So for an access network that's less than two years after start of construction, they've captured between 6% and 10% of what the cablecos call "homes passed".

In terms of comparison, to pick a cableco at random, Comcast was selling Comcast @Home in 1999 (and maybe earlier - that's just the earliest Comcast press release I can find that refers to internet service), and as of 2Q05 - six or more years later - was at 18.9% of homes passed.

So 6%-10% penetration really doesn't seem that bad.

Their feasibility study indicates that they've got three years to hit 10% penetration for breakeven, and only need to get up to 25%-30% in years 4+ to stay at breakeven. Personally, I wouldn't be that negative on 6%-10% in year two.