FTTH backed in the USSR as former Soviet region leaves the West behind

Joseph O'Halloran | 21-02-2013

Even as European fibre-to-the-home deployment continues to grow steadily overall, there is a huge disparity among the regionís nation states with respect to FTTH deployment and development.
According to statistics released by the FTTH Council Europe, Russia is the clear fibre leader, adding 2.2 million new FTTH subscribers in the second half of 2012, more than all of the 27 Member States of the European Union combined. This corresponds to a dramatic increase in FTTH subscribers of more than 42% to reach a grand total of 7.5 million homes.

Yet across the EU27 countries, the number of FTTH subscribers continued to grow at an accelerated rate of 15% in the second half of 2012. During this period, Europe added 820,000 subscribers in total, bringing the number of fibre-connected homes to 6.24 million. Scandinavia, Baltic countries and the Netherlands contributed 26% of these new subscribers, Eastern European economies 33%, and France and Portugal 30%.
Certain regions, most notably the UK which has less than 0.1% of fibre connected homes, did not even figure on the official charts.
In terms of household penetration, Lithuania remained the dominant fibre nation boasting 100% coverage of FTTH and over 31% of homes connected to fibre. Sweden was in second place with 22.6% of homes having FTTH subscriptions. In the ranking, ten nations can now claim more than 10% FTTH penetration, up from seven in June 2012. In order from the top they are Lithuania, Sweden, Bulgaria, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark and Portugal.
"Eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries have reinforced their position as fibre leaders, and the disparity between the early and late adopters is becoming even more apparent," commented Karin Ahl, president of the FTTH Council Europe. "These FTTH leaders are gaining an economic advantage over their less well-connected neighbours. Good communications infrastructure helps to retain existing businesses and attract new ones. Countries that delay the roll out of FTTH are looking at a serious lost opportunity to prepare for their economic future."