Europe Could Pass 202 Million Homes with FTTH/B by 2026

IDATE forecasts 202 million homes will be passed with FTTH/B by 2026 for EU27+1 compared to 88.1 million in 2019.

  • Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Europe

Europe’s FTTH market is set for ripe growth in the next four years. New forecasts by IDATE, which were released during the FTTH virtual Conference 2020, anticipate 202 million homes will be passed with FTTH/B by 2026 for EU27+1 compared to 88.1 million in 2019.

The research firm expects the FTTH/B adoption rate is expected to reach 73,3 percent in 2026 compared to 43,3 percent in 2019.

Further, IDATE said Germany, UK and Italy are likely to experience the biggest growth rates for homes passed by 2026.

These numbers were reviewed after the COVID-19 initial wave during 2020.

IDATE’s market forecasts cover 39 countries1 and provide an individual analysis for 15 countries2. Estimates plan for a massive surge to around 202 million homes passed for FTTH/B in 2026 in EU27+UK compared to 26,2 million in 2012. Some countries are expected to experience an outstanding growth in the number of homes passed in 2026 compared to 2019 such as Germany (+730 percent), United Kingdom (+548 percent) and Italy (+218 percent).

While Russia is likely to maintain its FTTH/B homes passed lead, it is anticipated that Germany would join the second spot in the ranking in 2026.

According to the forecasts, the number of subscribers would increase further to around 148 million in 2026 for EU27+UK and approximately 208 million for EU38+UK and the FTTH/B take-up rate3 would reach 73,3 percent in 2026 showing a clear upward trend compared to a recorded 23,4 percent in 2012.

Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 can partially explain this massive growth as it led to more data traffic and new broadband demands with people staying at home, which in turn increased the demand for fiber. But it is to be considered as an accelerator which amplified pre-existing trends.

However, IDATE said other factors also affect positively FTTH adoption such as:

  • copper retirement plans;
  • an increase in FTTH network sharing agreements and more appetite for single-build deployments;
  • strong commitments of government and local authorities to FTTH;
  • 5G deployment announcements which entail more fiber deployments.

While service providers are accelerating FTTH/B deployments across Europe it is worth noting that a new digital divide for teleworking performance was revealed by the COVID-19 crisis. Beyond its impact on public policies, it is now clear that COVID-19 has changed public perception of the importance of broadband and their willingness to accept premium for fiber. This new trend is one of the key drivers for the very high estimates for FTTH/B take up however additional measures by policy-makers aimed at increasing take-up are still crucial for European citizens and businesses to benefit from the potential of full fiber.

The FTTH Council Europe’s presentation about the Market Panorama 2020 (figures from September 2019 and excluding the update presented at the FTTH virtual Conference on 3 December) is available here.

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