Report reveals largest European economies still not FTTH leaders

The FTTH Council Europe has released its latest update ranking the 22 FTTH economies in the region where more than 1% of households are fibre subscribers, with the UK and Germany still absent.

The report, made in collaboration with IDATE, recorded a 16.4% increase in the number of FTTH/B subscribers during the first half of 2012 and coverage in Europe rising 16%. By the middle of the year Europe had 5.95 million FTTH/B subscribers and 32 million homes passed.

The top three European FTTH nations were found to be unchanged with leader Lithuania reaching over 30% penetration, followed by Norway at 18% and Sweden at 14.5%.

Some of Europe’s largest economies, including the UK and Germany, remained absent from the rankings.

The UK was found to have the lowest FTTH subscriber penetration rate at only 0.05% of households connected. This comes despite plans by the UK government to have the best superfast broadband in Europe by 2015. The report suggested that the UK was clearly lagging with no large-scale FTTH deployment plans, instead adopting a FTTC strategy.

"Key countries absent from the ranking, may miss out on their chance to build a sustainable future for their citizens", said Hartwig Tauber, Director General of FTTH Council Europe. "Additional efforts are required to ensure Europe reaches the Digital Agenda 2020 broadband targets. The decision to invest in FTTH - the only future-proof solution - needs to be made today."

Spain was surprisingly ranked 20th with 1.42% penetration, following a 44% subscriber increase in the first half of the year. The report attributed this to announcements from Telefónica and Orange and competition between Telefónica and cable operator Ono.

Another new entry came from Luxembourg with 1.46% subscriber penetration. The report said that state owned P&T appears set to realise ambitious government objectives to pass 80% of households with 100Mbps fibre by the end of 2012 and 100% by the end of 2015.

The report also highlighted the market potential of Russia, with 5.2 million FTTH/B subscribers and 15.8 million homes passed. The Ukraine was found to have over a million FTTH/B subscribers, an increase of more than 85% during the first half of 2012.