Asia, Europe Dominate FTTH Elite

A new study by industry lobby group the FTTH Council shows that 14 countries now boast fiber-to-the-home penetration rates of greater than 1 percent. That’s up from 11 countries when the same study was done in July 2007: The three new entrants to the ranking are Slovenia, Iceland, and Singapore.

Of those 14, the top three are from Asia/Pacific and are way ahead the rest of the world. South Korea leads the way with 31.4 percent of households hooked up to a fiber access connection, while Hong Kong has 23.4 percent and Japan 21.3 percent. (See table and chart below.)

Table 1: Economies With The Highest Penetration of FTTH/FTTB
Ranking Market/country % of households with FTTH connection Dominant architecture*
1 South Korea 31.4 FTTB
2 Hong Kong 23.4 FTTB
3 Japan 21.3 FTTH
4 Sweden 7.1 FTTH
5 Taiwan 6.8 FTTB
6 Norway 6.0 FTTH
7 Denmark 2.5 FTTH
8 U.S. 2.3 FTTH
9 Slovenia 1.8 FTTH
10 Iceland 1.5 FTTH
11 China 1.5 FTTB
12 Netherlands 1.4 FTTH
13 Italy 1.2 FTTB
14 Singapore 1.1 FTTH
* FTTH = economies where majority architecture is fiber-to-the-home
FTTB = economies where majority architecture is fiber-to-the-building plus an in-building LAN (no copper-based access involved)

Source: Fiber To The Home Council

Seven are from Europe, with Sweden leading the way in the No. 4 spot, with an FTTH household penetration rate of 7.1 percent. The Americas are represented only by the U.S., ranked in 8th place with 2.3 percent of its households hooked up to fiber.

However, the strong showing by European countries masks the still low actual number of fiber connections in Europe.

According to a new report by Heavy Reading chief analyst Graham Finnie, "FTTH Worldwide Technology Update & Market Forecast," Europe had just 1.3 million of the world’s 20.1 million fiber access connections at the end of 2007. (See Report: EMEA Set for FTTH Surge and FTTH Technology Fracas Continues.)

By comparison, Asia/Pacific had 16.4 million fiber access connections at the end of 2007, including more than 11 million in Japan alone. Of the 2.4 million in the Americas, nearly all were in the U.S., according to the report.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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