The number of FTTH/B subscribers in Europe increased by 60 percent in 2014, new figures have revealed.
The FTTH Council Europe announced there were 12.3 million subscribers as of December 2014 across the European Union’s 28 countries.
Lithuania was the leading country with over 34 percent of homes subscribing to FTTH/B, ahead of Sweden and Latvia.
FTTH is available to 63 percent of subscribers, with Norway the country leading the way, while FTTB is on offer to 37 percent.
Spain made the most progress – the number of subscribers increased 137 percent year-on-year thanks to Telefónica increasing the number of homes passed with FTTH/B by more than six million during 2014.
Despite failing to reach the minimum threshold of one percent of homes subscribing to the two technologies – the benchmark required to merit a ranking – the industry body singled out Germany as having made significant progress in 2014. Europe’s biggest market is expected to reach the one percent mark sometime this year.
After connecting fewer than 20,000 new FTTH customers, the UK remains missing from the ranking, which saw no new countries enter the top 20.
Valerie Chaillou, Director of Telecom Studies at the IDATE, which compiled the data for the FTTH Council, told Europan Communications that incumbents such as BT were too focused on the short term.
The UK operator announced in January that it planned to deploy G.Fast technology next year. But Chaillou warned that it could be a false economy as it would have to “spend again” in a few years to future proof its network.
Despite the absence of two of the continent's biggest markets, Karin Ahl, President of the FTTH Council Europe, said the overall figures demonstrated “phenomenal progress” of FTTH.
She commented: “It proves that FTTH/B is poised to become the mass market broadband product in Europe, even though there is still a long way to go to reach the Digital Agenda target of 100 Mbps for 50 percent of Europe’s households by 2020.”
Source: European Communications.