The vision of optical fiber, bringing broadband signal directly to homes, seems to have faded. Various companies, however, are preparing large-scale efforts at extending fiber networks to consumers as soon as next year. BellSouth has already introduced the service with expectations of increasing sales, and optical hardware makers are actively selling their solutions. Several factors have combined to increase renewed interest in fiber. Consumer demand for services such as online music and video is one half of the equation, while lower fiber prices and increased efficiencies is the other.