Fibre to the Home grows slowly in Europe
Fibre to the Home (FTTH) is striving ahead in Asia with three countries seeing penetration of the service to more than 20% of households (South Korea - 31.4%, Hong Kong - 23.4% and Japan 21.3%). These figures are impressive, and help to show how poor the deployment is here in Europe, with our region now only recently having reached a total of one million connections. By comparison, Japan now has 11 million subscribers.
The most fibre prominent area of Europe is Sweden with 7.1% of homes connected, followed by Norway with 6% and Denmark 2.1%. There were three newcomers to the list of countries that have a FTTH penetration of more than 1% since July 2007 and these were Slovenia, Iceland and Singapore. More statistics and graphs are available from the Fibre to the Home Council.
The Register have also uncovered an interesting fact that few FTTH deployments seems to be run by Telecom operators. Only France Telecom, Iliad (also French), Telekom Slovenia and Orange in Slovakia are leading the way from the telecom sector with most deployments being run by power utility companies or local authorities. Where government gets involved, there is the ability to create a more open network, not owned by a single telecoms company, allowing for the opportunity of competition to be created in the local network immediately. A report by IDATE details the current FTTH situation across Europe. Of course, the UK gets little mention in much of this as there are no widespread plans for deployments. The government is taking note by looking into the future of our broadband connections and there are some projects in the pipeline, such as H2O's fibre network via the sewers, that should help get the ball rolling.