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By: MarkJ - 10 February, 2011 (12:03 AM)
ftth council europeThe FTTH Council Europe, which hopes to foster a sustainable future enabled by true superfast 100Mbps+ fibre optic Fibre-to-the-Home broadband technology, has revealed that Europe as a whole (EU-36) is now (Dec 2010) home to 8.1 million FTTH/B subscribers (3.9 million without Russia).

Some 33 million homes and buildings are now within reach of the service, which has continued to grow at a fairly stable rate of 21%. As you might expect the UK does not appear in any of the statistics due to our miniscule FTTH deployments.

q4 2010 europe ftth

BT does of course have plans to start rolling out commercial FTTP (FTTH) services later this year, although it will take another year or so before this shows up in the rankings. It's also worth noting that the FTTH Council doesn't consider other methods that deliver superfast broadband, such as wireless solutions or Virgin Media UK's cable service.

Roland Montagne, Director of IDATE's Telecoms Business Unit, commented:

"We are seeing steady growth in the European FTTH/B market, which is being spurred largely by Eastern European countries, and especially Russia. European incumbents are becoming increasingly involved in FTTH, and nearly all have FTTH rollout plans or are already deploying fibre on a large scale."

Aside from Russia, the majority of subscribers are concentrated in eight countries in Western and Northern Europe (around 67% of FTTH/B subscribers at the end of 2010): Sweden, Italy, France, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Turkey.

Sadly many residential and business users in Europe still appear to be unconvinced. Penetration rates at the end of 2010 (% of subscribers out of total homes passed) remained very low: 17.5% compared to 39% in Japan and 34% in the United States.

Part of this is likely to be caused by the higher prices of FTTH services. Many consumer remain comfortable with their cheaper DSL based solutions and are less inclined to switch onto FTTH. Price will be a key battleground in the future, with FTTH/B/P solutions needing to best DSL in order to take market share.
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