FTTH Council Europe reports fast growth, but there’s still some way to go

Created May 30, 2022
News and Business

The FTTH Council Europe’s annual FTTH/B Market Panorama finds number of premises passed and subscribers across Europe and the UK are significantly up on previous years. It also found that around 400 FTTH/B initiatives were identified in the 39 countries in the European area by September 2021. Compared to 2011, around 57% of total of total homes in the region have been passed by altnets, and approximately 39% by incumbents. Incumbents only accounted for 21% of homes passed 2011. The report also found a strong acceleration of fibre deployment with a firm commitment to cover both urban and rural areas as incumbents are progressively redefining their full-fibre strategies and municipalities, utilities and altnets are increasingly covering many remote and isolated areas.

The UK in particular has shown significant progress in homes passed. The report says growth has been accelerating extremely rapidly since September 2021, adding up to 600,000 homes passed per month or about 3.5 million homes passed in that period, reaching over 10.5 million homes passed by the end of March 2022. However, Germany, UK and Italy have the most work to do in connecting their remaining homes, with over 60 million homes left to pass between them.

The report concludes that three out of five countries now have more than 50% of total homes with full-fibre, which, says the report, shows the willingness of each country to support the expansion of FTTH. The EU39 has reached 96 million FTTH subscriptions, with EU27+UK accounting for 60% of those. 198 million homes were passed by full-fibre infrastructure in the total region, with 109 million in EU27+UK, and in the EU 27+UK, 49% of European homes are covered by full-fibre.

Limiting factors

There are however factors which are inhibiting the growth of FTTH/B including delays created by Covid-19, with lockdowns in most European countries since September 2021. Also, Gigabit capable technologies such as 5G Fixed Wireless Access, G.fast and Docsis 3.1/4.0 are still being deployed to meet the current Home bandwidth demands, delaying FTTH in some areas. The availability of skilled labour to build out and manage new fibre networks is now being felt. It says the industry is responding but staff training and retention is a high priority for service providers and network builders.

Ukraine

The report notes that there have also been significant regional actions this year which impact the accuracy of data from Ukraine, with the removal of Russia and Belarus from individual mention in the report due to their actions and support of the invasion of Ukraine. In the specific case of Ukraine, FTTH/B coverage in the country was about 68% of total homes in September 2021, but there is no current data on the level of damage caused by the war on FTTH networks in Ukraine and despite seeing reports of amazing efforts to maintain the network as much as possible, but it is not currently possible to predict how fast these networks can be rebuilt.

Market Forecast

At the same time the Market Panorama was released, The FTTH Council Europe published its FTTH Market Forecast for 2022 – 2027. The forecast says that in 2022, EU39 could reach over 111 million FTTH subscriptions, with EU27+UK accounting for 62%. By 2027, Europe will be home to around 190 million FTTH subscribers, with EU27+UK representing over 123 million (65%). It adds that there will be 217 million homes passed by full-fibre infrastructure in the total region in 2022, with 124 million in EU27+UK (57%), figures which, by 2027, FTTH/B will cover 309 million homes in the whole region, of which 198 million will be in EU27+UK (64%).

The Council also published reports on FTTH/B in Rural Areas and a Global Rankings report, along with the In-home Broadband Excellence Guide, which can be purchased from its website by non-members of the FTTH Council Europe.

For more information, visit https://www.ftthcouncil.eu

 

 

 

 

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.