Eastern Europe leads fibre boom
The number of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) subscribers in Europe, including Russia, has increased by 22 per cent over the past six months, thanks to a booming broadband market in Eastern Europe.
According to new figures from the FTTH Council Europe over 3.2 million subscribers now have FTTH or Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) services. Including Russia, this figure nearly reaches 4.5 million.Due to increased network deployment fibre is within reach of more homes and Europe now counts 18 million homes passed by FTTH/B connections (over 26 million homes including Russia), a growth of more than 6 per cent during the first half of 2010.There are now believed to be more than 17 countries in Europe where more than 1 per cent of households subscribe to broadband over a direct fibre connection. Lithuania is still the leader in terms of penetration of FTTH/B broadband, just ahead of the more mature FTTH markets of Sweden and Norway. The top five fibre nations now include three New European Member States: Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Growth is also strong in Romania and Bulgaria.“With Romania joining the Ranking, Bulgaria and Lithuania making such rapid progress as well as three other countries (Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia) increasing penetration by more than 1 per cent, the New Member States are leading the drive for fibre to the home in Europe,” said Chris Holden, president of the FTTH Council. “If we include Russia, today the majority of FTTH/B connections are found in the Eastern part of Europe.”The majority of FTTH subscribers (74 per cent) are concentrated in eight countries, in the following order: Sweden, France, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Denmark and Slovakia. Amongst these, six countries can boast more than 200,000 subscribers – and Denmark as well as Slovakia are getting close to this threshold.
Major European economies such as Italy and France are still at the bottom of the rankings, and others such as the UK, Germany and Spain are noticeably absent, although co-investment between operators and national plans initiated by governments could soon start to enhance FTTH/B coverage in those nations.
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