More than 1 percent of North American homes are now directly connected to fiber, but many of them are single-family dwellings, Render said.
"There obviously are a large number of people that live in multi-tenant buildings, and improvements in the way to get fiber to those individual living units could be very significant," he said.
Render said the technology would make it easier to bring fiber "all the way to each individual living room, for example, or at least to each floor," instead of taking it only to the basement and then using existing wiring to reach the living unit.
There are more than 25 million high-rise apartment homes in the United States and more than 680 million worldwide. "The high cost of installation and difficulty in delivering fiber to the home made this market unappealing to most providers," Volanakis said in a statement.