FTTH not dampened by economic downturn
Over two million people in Europe are thought to have broadband provided by fibre to the home (FTTH) according to statistics from the FTTH Council Europe. Not to be confused with Virgin Media's "fibre optic broadband" which is a fibre and co-ax cable hybrid, fibre to the home provides a direct fibre from your premises to a local aggregation point, often in the nearest telephone exchange or a street-side cabinet and can provide speeds from 100meg. By 2012, the Council expects around 13 million people will have access to such services.
Sweden tops the list of European fibre nations with 10.9% of its broadband users connected via fibre. The UK doesn't feature as roll outs are limited to green field developments such as Ebbsfleet Valley, and H2O Networks who are in the process of deploying fibre to some cities around the UK via the sewer networks which will be used to connect homes to broadband. BT have some plans to deploy fibre, but this will be mainly to either street side cabinets using VDSL (FTTC) to connect homes or some limited fibre to the home roll outs to new developments.
Over 233 projects are under way to provide fibre to homes across Europe with many sponsored by local governments or smaller companies. Rural areas such as those of the Nordic countries are often targets for fibre roll outs as traditional broadband cannot reach these areas and provide an acceptable level of service.