FEBRUARY 28, 2008 -- The number of countries where FTTH connections are showing significant gains in the broadband services market continues to expand, according to an updated global ranking issued by the Fiber to the Home Councils (search for FTTH Council) of Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.
The new ranking lists 14 economies where more than 1% of households are connected directly into high-speed fiber-optic networks. On the three councils' first-ever ranking, released last July, 11 economies exceeded the 1% threshold. Slovenia, Iceland, and Singapore were the new entries on the list.
Globally, 2007 was the best year yet in terms of numbers of new subscribers to FTTH services, thanks primarily to strong growth in Japan, China, and the United States, where a total of nearly 6 million new FTTH households were added for the three countries.
"This phenomenon is driven by something that never slows down, and that is the consumer appetite for ever-higher bandwidth," says Joeri Van Bogaert, president of the FTTH Council Europe.
The updated ranking shows that Asian economies continue to outpace the rest of the world in terms of FTTH market penetration, with South Korea moving into the top slot with 31.4% of households connected, followed by Hong Kong at 23.4%, and Japan at 21.3%.
A large gap separates third-place Japan from fourth-ranked Sweden, where 7.1% of homes are wired with FTTH, followed closely by Taiwan at 6.8%, and Norway at 6%. Denmark, at 2.5%, occupies seventh position on the chart.
The United States, by more than doubling its penetration rate to 2.3%, moved up three places to eighth position, followed by two of the three countries making their first appearance on the chart: Slovenia at 1.8% and Iceland at 1.5%. China moved from tenth to eleventh place as direct fiber connections in that country moved up slightly to 1.5% .
The Netherlands, Italy, and Singapore rounded out the list with market penetration rates ranging from 1.1 to 1.4%.
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