The UK is falling behind in the race to roll-out full Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Building (FTTB) networks, the FTTH Council Europe conference in Stockholm has revealed its latest set of figures that show that 23 European countries have more than 1% of homes directly connected with fibre. Unsurprisingly the UK is one of the countries with under 1%.
There is a nice chart available showing the rankings across Europe, but given the UK is not on it due to the minute take-up due to the low availability of FTTH nationally it seems daft to publish it.
2013 was a year of strong FTTH growth for four countries, Spain passed an extra 2.4 million homes, France 710,000, Portugal and Sweden both passing 550,000 each. Germany joined the UK in still only having FTTH/B available to under 1% of premises, and that is the minimum level to appear on the charts. If looking to move to get ultrafast broadband and none of the UK locations with FTTH grab your fancy, then apparently Lithuania has 100% coverage of FTTH or FTTB and take-up is running at 34% (21% FTTH, 13% FTTB).
"“We need to do more and I can’t help but feel that some policy makers underestimate the danger of not getting to fibre to the home networks quickly enough,” said Karin Ahl, President of the FTTH Council Europe, in her opening speech at the FTTH Conference. “Within the next 30 years, 70% of the economy is likely to be driven by firms and products we know nothing about today."Karin Ahl, President of the FTTH Council Europe
The figures for the UK as of December 2013, was 234,000 homes passed with 24,100 subscribers which is at least an advance on the figure from the 2013 Conference of 199,000 homes passed. The growth from B4rn, Gigaclear, Hyperoptic and IFNL has boosted the figures, CityFibre is concentrating on business hence why not much has changed for them.
|Operator||No. of subscribers||Homes Passed|
With the current UK plans it looks unlikely that we will feature in the 2015 charts either, but given the decade long campaigning in the UK about the digital divide maybe the politicians listened and have gone for a solution they know can be rolled out quickly to millions of homes at relatively low cost and thus keeping almost everyone just ahead of that speed where things just don't work.