Skip Navigation

State of play for fibre to the home in Europe
Thursday 01 March 2007 13:56:44 by Andrew Ferguson

Across Western Europe there are one million users connected to a Fibre to the Home (FTTH) service according to

This represents just 1.4% of the 79 million broadband customers across Europe. Around 65% of these fibre connections are in Sweden where it provides 650,000 connections out of the country's 2.3 million broadband connections. Sweden has a population of 9.1 million people. In general the FTTH networks are not owned by telecoms companies but by utilities or local authorities.

With FTTH making its presence felt in France, Scandinavia and The Netherlands it is to be expected that UK broadband users will be feeling left out. BT will be the target for a lot of the angst, but it appears even in other countries that to get FTTH going it needs more than purely commercial pressures. In the next couple of years the Ebbsfleet development looks likely to be the UK showcase, but companies like Virgin Media, if their 50Mbps cable service is affordable, may offer some relief for speed junkies. Virgin Media and its cable network is a hybrid fibre and coax cable system. For the BT local loop to offer this sort of speed to more than a handful of people, fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) would be needed.


Posted by kitkatnodogs over 10 years ago
Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 10 years ago
as I said in in earlier comment, 21CN using ADSL2+ is gonna be obsolete before its released, what we need is FTTC if we are to stay up among the Broadband leaders of the world (if we were ever there in the 1st place)
Posted by lierobs over 10 years ago
I thought the whole idea of fibre was that it was cheap to lay anyway? And that's why it has sporadic coverings in some newer builds?

If so, what's the issue? Start laying some fibre :)
Posted by Dave2150 over 10 years ago
We are in the broadband stoneage in this country, compared to other developed countries.

Pathetic old ADSL technology for all those millions who cannot get Virgin Media cable, and obscene bandwidth costs resulting in caps, and port throttling.

And whats planned? ADSL2+ for 2011 for me. That will get me 2.5mbit instead of 2mbit! wow!

Other countries are laying FTTH as we speak, so id like to see these numbers again in a year, when we still have none.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 10 years ago
Ah yes, Virgin Media..planning on higher speeds without addtional infrastructure. And I enjoyed being able to USE my broadband's speed occasionally. Ah well.
Posted by andrewlongdon over 10 years ago
We were one of the first to have cable in the NW. I think it was Nynex, then C&W, then NTL, now it's Virgin Media. We've moved about 3 miles closer to Manchester - literally on the city limits but we're in a Cable black hole! We have BT Total Broadband -"Up to 8 Meg" - we can't even get 800kbps! Take a look at
The main reason for this is that we're connected to an exchange which is 4 miles away even though there's one half that distance from us - will BT re-wire us? I doubt it...
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
"In general the FTTH networks are not owned by telecoms companies but by utilities or local authorities." - there you go Dave2150, get on to the boyos to do something about it.
Posted by ChrisKerswell over 10 years ago
This is going to take a lot longer with Councils REMOVING fibre from schools, in favour of laying COPPER, as is happening in my area!
Posted by pivotal over 10 years ago
Living on a development in Milton Keynes that had FTTC I had to wait for a copper bypass cable to get adsl. When they ran the 21CN trials they went to an area without fibre & installed it, before abandoning it. My original Radsl speed was 6+ now its just 4+, how does that happen? did my house move further away from the exchange (which has had a red VP since Oct 06).
I'm moving & the new place is 200yrds from the exchange, but its in a rural area & unlikely to get better than adsl until after 2011 the scheduled 21CN rollout date
Posted by doowles over 10 years ago
Don't really bother me :0 i;m in a cable area and 10mbit ntl is awesome already. Can't wait for 20mbit in June.
Posted by c_j_ over 10 years ago
"My original Radsl speed was 6+ now its just 4+, how does that happen?"

As DSL penetration goes up and as lots of folk go for higher speeds, crosstalk inevitably gets worse, in some cases noticeably worse, which means people will see worse signal quality and therefore worse sync speeds.

Fibre doesn't have crosstalk as such.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.