Eastern Europe Leads the West in Fiber to the Home

  • Broadband Penetration
  • FTTH
MILAN – Fiber deployment in Europe accelerated during 2010, both in terms of buildings passed and subscribers connected, the FTTH Council Europe said at the European FTTH Conference today. Smaller economies in Eastern and Northern Europe are still the fiber deployment leaders - Lithuania retained the top spot, followed by Sweden, Norway, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Overall, there are now nearly 3.9 million fiber broadband subscribers in Europe (8.1 million including Russia), an increase of 18 percent in just six months. This includes both fiber to the building (FTTB) and fiber to the individual home or apartment (FTTH).

Turkey joined the FTTH ranking in the second half of 2010 and was one of the most dynamic markets. SuperOnline, a subsidiary of the country’s largest mobile operator, Turkcell, launched FTTH services at the end of 2009, and has collected around 200,000 subscribers during the first year. It aims to bring 1 million homes within reach of its FTTH network by the end of 2011.

The number of FTTH subscribers in Latvia nearly tripled, thanks to the upgrade program of incumbent operator Lattelecom, whose network now covers more than one-third of the country's households. In Portugal, three operators are busy adding FTTH subscribers: the incumbent Portugal Telecom, whose network now passes 1 million homes; alternative operator Sonaecom and cable company ZON Multimedia. Russia had the highest growth in absolute numbers, with an additional 895,000 subscribers in six months.

Chris Holden, president of the FTTH Council Europe, comments, “It is becoming increasingly obvious that major economies like Germany, Spain and the U.K. need to speed up or risk getting left behind.”

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