Those 14 countries are the same ones that made the end-of-2007 ranking, and South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan still command the top three positions in the Council's half-year global update. South Korea increased its FTTH penetration to 37 percent, from 31.4 percent at the turn of the year, while Hong Kong ramped to 27 percent from 23.4 percent, and Japan edged up 3.2 percentage points to 24.5 percent penetration.
But there have been some lower order changes, with the U.S. slipping two places to tenth place. (See table below and graph.)
Table 1: Economies With the Highest Penetration of FTTH/FTTB, Mid-2008
|Ranking mid-2008||Market/country||Ranking at end of 2007||% of households with FTTH connection at end of June 2008||% of households with FTTH connection at end of Dec 2007||Dominant architecture*|
|* 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
Sweden also slipped, by one place to fifth, as Taiwan edged ahead into fourth place with a FTTH penetration of 7.7 percent, up from 6.8 percent at the end of 2007. That gives Asia/Pacific the top four places, while Europe, courtesy of Sweden, Norway, Slovenia, Iceland, and Denmark, commands the next five positions.
Those countries are then followed by the U.S., which was pushed down the order, along with Denmark, by growth in Slovenia and Iceland.
But while the U.S. may have slipped down the ranking, it has increased its FTTH penetration level to 2.9 percent, up from 2.3 percent at the end of 2007. It now has 3.3 million FTTH subscribers, with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) making a significant contribution to that total (more than 1.8 million), though, according to the Council, there are another 600 or so smaller FTTH deployments ongoing across the country.
According to the Council, Asia/Pacific accounts for more than 27 million of the world's 32 million FTTH subscribers, while Europe has just 1.4 million, a total that should increase during the next few years as major projects get going in countries like France. (See Report: EMEA Set for FTTH Surge.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading