According to data from the Spanish telecommunications regulator Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) April 2018 saw the number of FTTH lines in the country increase by 150,893. This brought the total number of FTTH lines in operation to 7.3 million.
On an annualised basis, with respect to April 2017 there was an increase of 1.8 million lines. As FTTH prospered, the national DSL market decreased by 1.3 million lines. Of the FTTH total, almost half (49.4%) were operated by Movistar, with 3.58 million lines.
In another blow to copper, earlier this month Spanish incumbent Telefónica announced it would shut down one copper switching exchange each day until 2020. The target shutdown figure is 653 copper exchanges by 2020, 253 of which will occur this year, 200 in 2019, and 200 more in 2020.
The telco points out that:
-A fibre exchange provides service to the equivalent of four copper exchanges
-A 2,400 pair copper harness provides service to 2,400 customers, while a 256 wire fibre cable provides service to 16,384 customers
-Fibre access technology takes up 15% of the space taken up by copper access
-The shutting down of copper means 60% energy savings.
“Fibre is the access technology that will support the development of the services and customers of the next 100 years, and Telefónica is working on the evolution of copper to fibre, and enabling network transformation and simplification processes,” states Pablo Ledesma, Director of Operations of Telefónica Spain. “In fact, Spain is at the forefront of Europe in the deployment of ultra-fast broadband and digitalisation thanks to the boost that Telefónica has given to the deployment of fibre, and the migration of its individual and company customers to this new technology”.