The number of fiber-to-the-home subscribers in Europe, including Russia, has increased by 22 percent over the past six months. The broadband market in the Eastern part of Europe is booming, according to the latest figures from the FTTH Council Europe, which were announced at the Broadband World Forum in Paris.
In absolute numbers, Europe has reached 3.2 million FTTH/B subscribers (nearly 4.5 million including Russia). Network deployment continues to bring fiber within reach of more homes: Europe now counts 18 million FTTH/B homes passed (more than 26 million including Russia), a growth of more than 6 percent during the first half of 2010.
The FTTH Ranking now includes 17 countries in Europe, where more than 1 percent of households subscribe to broadband over a direct fiber connection. Lithuania is still the leader in the Ranking, just ahead of the more mature FTTH markets of Sweden and Norway. The top five fiber nations now include three New European Member States: Lithuania, Slovenia, and Slovakia.
Romania enters the Ranking in 13th place with more than 120,000 FTTH/B subscribers. Bulgaria shows the fastest progression in the Ranking, moving from 16th to 8th position during first half of 2010. Lithuania, still in first place, showed the second fastest growth rate, boosting subscriber
penetration by 3.3 percentage points.
The majority of FTTH subscribers (74 percent) are concentrated in eight countries, in the following order: Sweden, France, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Denmark, and Slovakia.
Major European economies, such as Italy and France, are still at the bottom of the Ranking, and others, such as Britain, 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.
The Full Ranking for 2010 will be presented at the FTTH Conference in Milan, 9-10 February 2011.
The FTTH Global Ranking is based on the definition of FTTH/B agreed by the three FTTH Councils. It includes fibre to the home (FTTH), where the fiber connection reaches the household, and fiber to the building (FTTB), where fiber terminates inside the boundary of a multi-tenant building. The Ranking covers all countries with at least 200,000 households where the penetration of FTTH/B has reached at least 1 percent of the total number of homes.