Spain leads the European ranking for fiber deployment in rural areas.
During the FTTH 2021 Virtual Conference, the FTTH Council Europe Has published two reports– The latest FTTH forecast figures for 2021 and 2026 and an overview of fiber deployments in rural areas.
FTTH Forecasts for 2021 and 2026
The market forecasts cover 39 countries and provide individual analysis for 15 countries. The numbers are in line with previous estimates and the plan for around 197 million homes passed by FTTH / B in 2026 in EU27 + UK compared to 118 million this year, with Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Italy experiencing the most notable growth.
According to forecasts, the number of subscribers would reach 135 million in 2026 for EU27 + UK and 197 million for EU39. FTTH Council Europe estimates also show that in 2026, the FTTH / B occupancy rate for EU27 + UK will be slightly higher (68.7%) than for EU39 (65.3%), both experiencing a constant evolution throughout of the years.
Several factors have driven the promotion of the implementation of networks. The crisis of Covid led to more data traffic and more demand, which has resulted in private investors greatly leveraging their deployment projects in favor of FTTH / B to support the ongoing traffic surge. In addition, the launch of national programs (infrastructure and digitization) and new European digital targets for 2025 and 2030 will lead to the acceleration of full fiber connectivity in all European countries.
“This trend will be intensified by new usage patterns that are encouraging operators to migrate to FTTH solutions, capable of offering new services while contributing to the challenge of sustainability,” he says. Vincent Garnier, CEO of the FTTH Council Europe.
There is still ahuge growth potential in terms of connectivity in many EU countries
The report shows that there is a huge growth potential in terms of connectivity in many EU countries, but the overall deployment is progressing at a rapid pace. However, the FTTH Council Europe considers that there is still a long way to go to reach a fully digitized society. “We strongly believe that to embrace the next digital decade and shape Europe’s digital transformation by 2030, adoption is the next challenge, and we call on policy makers to take the necessary steps for end-users to benefit from the world of the new possibilities offered by full fiber connectivity “, they point out from the association.
Fiber deployments in rural areas
For the first time, the FTTH Council Europe has also presented this year the first official report on the deployment of fiber in rural Europe, a document that provides an overview of the objectives, actions and results of the implementation of FTTH in rural areas in a selection of 10 EU countries (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom). While more than two-thirds of rural households currently have access to NGA (Next Generation Access includes the following technologies: FTTH, FTTB, Cable Docsis 3.0, VDSL and other super fast broadband of at least 30 Mbps download); FTTH / B coverage continues to lag in non-dense areas with only 22% of households covereds, compared to 45% of all EU27 + UK territories.
FTTH / B coverage continues to lag in non-dense areas with only 22% of households covered
FTTH / B is deployed progressively, but at a very different rate between the countries under study. While Spain stands as the champion of the ranking with 60.5% rural FTTH / B coverage in 2020, Germany still has a long way to go with only 9.8% covered. However, it is worth noting that this represents a higher proportion of rural households than the EU average and indicates a more balanced deployment in rural and urban areas of Germany.
“The FTTH Council Europe believes that rural areas should benefit from the same services as urban areas and therefore public funds should help close this digital divide where private financing is not possible due to lack of business case However, to get the most out of public money, only full fiber projects should count for funding, as it is the most future-proof and environmentally friendly infrastructure, “he says. Eric Festraets, President of the FTTH Council Europe.