FEBRUARY 12, 2009 -- The number of economies where fiber-to-the-home has established a significant and growing market presence has nearly doubled over the past 18 months, according to an updated global ranking issued today by the FTTH Councils of Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.
The ranking, issued twice a year since 2007, was released today at the FTTH Council Europe's annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. It tracks the level of FTTH market penetration in economies where more than one percent of households are connected directly into high-speed fiber networks. In all, 20 economies met this threshold, up from 14 in July 2008 and 11 in July 2007.
The growth is largely due to the entry of several European countries in the ranking, as FTTH deployment begins to expand across that continent and the total number of FTTH subscribers in Europe approaches two million.
Asian economies maintained their leadership in FTTH market penetration, as South Korea (44% of the market), Hong Kong (28%), Japan (27%), and Taiwan (12%) continued to hold the top four places respectively.
Meanwhile, Japan remains the overall leader in terms of the number of fiber-connected homes at 13.2 million, followed by the United States (6.05 million) and the People's Republic of China (5.96 million).
For the first time, the Councils' ranking includes the breakdown for each economy between FTTH connections, where fiber is run all the way to individual residences, and fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) connections for which the fiber terminates at a multi-unit dwelling and a non-fiber local area network (LAN) delivers service to the individual subscribers. In addition, FTTB subscriber numbers have been added to the totals for the United States, which accounts for much of the substantial increase in that country's totals since the previous ranking in July 2008. Copper-based broadband access technologies (DSL, FTT-Curb, FTT-Node) are not included.
"It is very encouraging to see four new EU nations joining Russia and Andorra in the new ranking, together nearly doubling Europe's total representation among the top twenty in the world," notes Joeri Van Bogaert, president of the FTTH Council Europe. "It is perhaps more difficult for the largest countries to achieve the ranking, which makes Russia's inclusion particularly exciting and surprising. Across Europe, we are seeing FTTH penetration figures rise as the benefits of fiber become clearer for all."
"Fiber to the home continues to grow rapidly in the United States, thanks to Verizon's aggressive deployment of its all-fiber network and the growing interest in FTTH among smaller telephone companies who see it as essential to their survival in the digital economy," contends Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council North America. "Subscriber satisfaction and high FTTH market share are driving this growth."
"We are pleased that Asia Pacific region continues to occupy the top slots in the rankings on market penetration, thanks largely to the very high level of market penetration in South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan," adds Shoichi Hanatani, president of the FTTH Council Asia Pacific. "While no newly additional economies from the region were able to break into the ranking this time, we are seeing a lot of interest in a number of Asian economies and believe it won't be long before others begin significant FTTH deployments."