The number of fibre to the home (FTTH) and fibre to the building (FTTB) subscribers in Europe has soared, increasing by 50% over the 12 months ending December 2014, according to the latest update to the FTTH Ranking announced at a press conference held at the FTTH Conference in Warsaw.
There are now nearly 15 million FTTH/B subscribers on the European continent (14.5 million to be exact) – not including Russia and the Ukraine, which would add a further 14.8 million homes to the total (source: FTTH market panorama prepared by IDATE for FTTH Council Europe).
"This is phenomenal progress, and it proves that FTTH/B is poised to become THE mass market broadband product in Europe, even though there is still a long way to go to reach the Digital Agenda Target of 100 Mbps for 50% of Europe's households by 2020!" said Karin Ahl, President of the FTTH Council Europe.
Although there were no new countries in the FTTH Ranking, there is a new momentum in Germany where alternative operators like Deutsche Glasfaser are pushing ahead with fibre deployment. The country is now very close to entering the FTTH Ranking – if progress continues at this rate, Germany is likely to reach the qualifying threshold of 1% of homes subscribing to fibre sometime in 2015.
Good progress was also reported in countries like Romania, Spain, France, Netherlands and Portugal. However, a number of European countries are still holding back on their fibre roll-outs and are missing out on the economic and social advantages that FTTH can bring. Countries like Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic or the United Kingdom connected fewer than 20,000 new FTTH customers during the whole of 2014.
The FTTH Council Europe also announced today that dstelecom (dst group) and Dik Wessels received this year's FTTH Operators Award and Individual Award, respectively, for their outstanding efforts to accelerate the adoption of FTTH in Europe.
Portuguese operator dstelecom, represented by Xavier Rodriguez-Martin, member of the board, received the FTTH Operator Award in recognition for rolling out advanced fibre networks in rural areas located in the north and south of Portugal. With an investment of €90 million, dstelecom group has installed more than 9000 km of optical fibre cable to cover more than 50% of the households in these regions.
In awarding Dik Wessels the FTTH Individual Award, the FTTH Council Europe recognized the importance of his role in the investment in FTTH infrastructure by the family's investment group Reggeborgh. Dik Wessels is the initiator behind Reggefiber BV and Deutsche Glasfaser GmbH. The success of this innovative strategy has been confirmed by Reggefiber's penetration in the market in the Netherlands and its recent acquisition by KPN.
The FTTH Conference was opened by Andrzej Halicki, Polish Minister of Administration and Digitization and Iwona Wendel, Undersecretary of State for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development. The event, which attracted nearly 3,000 participants from 85 countries, hosted 95 exhibitors and over 130 high-quality presentations and case studies from renowned industry speakers. A keynote speech by Anna Herold, Member of Cabinet, Cabinet of Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society, European Commission followed opening ceremony speeches by Magdalena Gaj, President of the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE), Prof. Fatima Barros, Chairman of Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and Karin Ahl, President of the FTTH Council Europe.
The 13th edition of the FTTH Conference will be held in Luxembourg on 16 – 18 February 2016.