According to a recent KMI Corp. report, "Fiberoptic Networks of Long-Distance Carriers in North America: Market Developments and Forecast," fiber deployment will slow significantly over the next two to three years. The report is an update of a November 1999 report that accurately forecast a downturn in the U.S. long-distance fiber and cable market starting in 2001. As a result of the slowdown, industry consolidation is likely for the next two years. Carriers that survive the downturn in relatively good health will be in a strong position to prosper from the coming broadband boom as more end users shift away from dial-up modems and put more traffic on the Internet backbone. Beyond 2003, improved business conditions and friendlier capital markets, combined with a resurgence in bandwidth demand, will lead to positive growth in annual long-haul fiber deployment, though still at levels below those of the peak years 1999 and 2000.
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