G-20 need to speed up on Fibre to the Home

Date: Fri, 02/26/2010 - 11:22

While Fibre to the Home deployments continue to grow worldwide in many economies, the G-20 states lag behind. Just seven of them made it into the latest FTTH/B Ranking of the Global FTTH Councils

G-20 need to speed up on Fibre to the Home Karel Helsen, President of the FTTH Council Europe

FTTH continues its triumphant success around the world. More than 6 million new subscribers were added just in the second half of 2009. South Korea, number one in the Global Ranking of FTTH/B economies, is the first country in the world where more than 50% of households are using FTTH/B connections.
For the first time, the FTTH Councils presented a Global Ranking of the G-20 states. This new chart reveals that only 7 of the “leading economies of the world” are progressing on the deployments of FTTH/B, the only future-proof telecommunication infrastructure that can meet the bandwidth demands of the economy and society. While North America and the Asian economies seem to head in the right direction, Europe does not figure in the Ranking, although France and Italy both have reached the threshold of 1% of households connected to FTTH/B.
The latest update to the FTTH/B Global Ranking, jointly issued by the three FTTH Councils of Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, was presented at the prestigious FTTH Conference in Lisbon yesterday, with 23 countries1 qualifying for the FTTH/B Ranking at the end of December 2009.
The top five Global economies in terms of the total number of subscribers are Japan, China, South Korea, USA and Taiwan. These five countries represent more than 90% of all FTTH/B subscribers in the Global Ranking! They also have in common that they are the only countries in the Global Ranking with more than one million households connected to FTTH/B.
“We welcome the latest update of the Global Ranking with mixed feelings”, comments Karel Helsen, President of the FTTH Council Europe, “On one hand, we are happy to see European newcomers like Portugal, Bulgaria and Czech Republic in the Ranking, and of course France, one of the European G-20 states. On the other hand, the new G-20 Ranking shows that countries such as Germany and UK, and of course the European Union as a whole are still lagging behind. Although too slow, Europe is heading in the right direction and the FTTH Council Europe will pursue its efforts to accelerate FTTH deployment in Europe.”
At the same time, the president of the FTTH Council Asia-Pacific, Y.K. Loke is very positive about the outcome of the new Global Ranking: “Despite the difficult economic climate, Asia Pacific continues to lead in the new Global Ranking with the top four positions”.
Positive comments also come from North America. “There is scarcely a wireline provider in North America that is not at least thinking about upgrading to fiber to the home, and more than 800 companies across the continent are now actually making the move to next-generation broadband,” said Joe Savage, President of the FTTH Council North America. “As the latest Ranking shows, this enormous interest in FTTH has propelled the U.S. to number three in market penetration among the G-20 countries. With Canadian telecoms beginning to move forward and companies like Google indicating that they want to build all-fiber networks, it’s just a matter of time before FTTH becomes the predominant access technology in North America.”
The next update of the FTTH Global Ranking, reflecting the status of fibre-connected households in June 2010, will be presented at the FTTH Council North America’s annual conference in Las Vegas, on 12-16 September 2010.

1The FTTH Global Ranking is based on the FTTH Councils’ definition of FTTH/B: it includes both Fibre to the Home (FTTH), where the fibre connection reaches direct to the household, and Fibre to the Building (FTTB), where fibre terminates inside the boundary of a multi-tenant building. The Ranking covers all countries with at least 200,000 households where the penetration of FTTH/B has reached 1% of the total number of homes.


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