Growth in fibre services delivered directly to homes and buildings accelerated n Europe in 2009. According to a report by market researcher Idate for the FTTH Council Europe, the number of FTTH/B subscribers rose 19 percent over the six months to December 2009 to 3.5 million and the number of homes and buildings passed increased 29 percent to over 25 million. The survey covered 36 countries in Europe, including Russia, which accounted for around 1 million of the subscribers. Excluding Russia, the majority of subscribers (77 percent) are concentrated in seven countries, in the following order: Sweden, Italy, France, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands and Denmark. Amongst them five countries now have more than 200,000 subscribers connected.
Idate identified 249 FTTH/B projects in Europe, of which 136 are new initiatives since June 2005. Municipalities and utilities are still the main players in FTTH/B deployments, representing 55.7 percent of the total number of projects. Alternative operators represent 28.7 percent of the total number of projects, but over 74 percent of homes/buildings passed. They also account for most of the subscribers, led by FastWeb in Italy, B2 of Sweden, Illiad/Free, Numericable and SFR in France, Orange Slovensko and T2 in Slovenia, which together had 841,500 subscribers, or around 24 percent of Europe's FTTH/B subscriber base (including Russia). Regarding technology deployed, Ethernet is still the first choice and represents 84 percent of total FTTH/B rollouts at end 2009.