Fibre reaches further into Europe with nearly 2 million subscribers
The total number of fibre to the home (FTTH) connections in Europe is nearing two million which has helped penetration of Fibre worldwide to nearly double over the last 18 months, according to statistics from the FTTH Council. There are now 20 countries where more than 1% of households are connected directly to high speed fibre networks, up from 14 in July 2008 and 11 in July 2007. The six additional countries are all in Europe and are Andorra, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, and Latvia. The penetration stats can be seen below:
Interesting is the breakdown between fibre to the home (FTTH) and fibre to the building (FTTB). In the case of FTTB, fibre is generally laid to the building which is then served by a local network which delivers service to subscribers using Ethernet. South Korea has around 12% FTTH whilst the remainding 32% of its fibre roll out is FTTB. This shows a contrast to areas like Norway and Slovenia where their roll out is largely FTTH, similar to what would be expected in the UK where a larger percentage of the population live in individual houses rather than flats or apartments.
Japan still tops the charts of the total number of fibre-connected homes with 13.2 million, followed by the United States at 6.05 million, and China at 5.96 million. In terms of penetration, South Korea have 44% of homes, Hong Kong 28%, Japan 27% and Taiwan 12%, making up the top 4. The UK does not feature as only limited roll outs of FTTH are occurring at the moment. Even BT's £1.5bn fibre rollout wouldn't be included in the statistics as this is a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology similar to Virgin Media's Fibre/COAX hybrid cable network which it uses for its 50 meg broadband. Once projects such as Fibrecity in Bournemouth from H2O Network and Velocity1 in Wembley City start becoming more common, we may eventually creep our way into the statistics.