VALENCIA -- FTTH Conference 2018 -- The number of FTTH/B (fiber-to-the-home/building) connections across an extended European region grew by 20.4% in the 12 months to the end of September 2017 to hit a total of 51.6 million, according to the latest annual statistics published by research house IDATE in a report commissioned by the FTTH Council Europe.
The percentage increase looks impressive, and follows a 23% growth number for the previous year: In stark statistics, the number of FTTH/B connections across the so-called "EU 39" (covering the European Union area and stretching as far east as Khazakstan) has increased by 15.7 million during the past two years.
Russia is still by far the biggest single market covered in the study with 18.9 million connections and was the market with the largest number of FTTH/B additions, nearly 1.83 million, in the year to September. Russia, then, is responsible for almost 37% of the EU 39 total, though it should be noted that the vast majority of Russia's total are households in multi-dwelling units that have a fat fiber connection to the basement and then split connections to the individual units.
Not far behind in terms of additions, though, was Spain, which added more than 1.6 million FTTH/B connections during the 12-month period under review for 36% year-on-year growth. That rapid growth, testament to the regulatory framework in Spain and the willingness of the rival operators to cooperate in rollout projects, makes Spain the number two country in the EU 39 in terms of total connections, boasting just over 6 million in total.
France added nearly 1.07 million new FTTH/B connections, up 34% year-on-year, to take its total to about 4.2 million.
The number of homes connected (or passed, though not necessarily with an active connection) in the EU 39 grew by 16% to more than 148 million and there are plenty of signs that number will continue to grow in the next few years as countries such as Italy and even the UK ramp up fiber access roll-out activity.
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Broadband World News