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Fibre reaches 5.5m more homes, but not in UK

Ian Grant

Fibre network operators defied the recession to add more than 5.5 million new residential and business subscribers worldwide, 15% up on six months ago, says the

FTTH Council.

The bi-annual global figures published today at the FTTH Council North America's annual conference and exhibition in Houston, Texas, includes all economies where more than 1% of households have a FTTH/B (fibre to the home/business) connection.

The data, collected at end of June, shows 21 economies met this threshold. The UK, which last week slipped down the global broadband rankings, was not on the list. The top 10 all had more than 5% of their households connected with FTTH/B.

The Asia-Pacific region still led the global ranking with South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan taking the first four places, followed by the Nordic countries of Sweden and Norway.

The top three in terms of new subscribers were China, Japan and the US, which added nearly 800,000 to keep its place in the top 10.

"In North America, FTTH continues to grow rapidly, driven by high satisfaction among those who have it, as well as the obvious competitive bandwidth and connectivity advantages," said Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council North America.

Karel Helsen, president of the FTTH Council Europe, said Europe saw steady growth despite the economic downturn. "With Slovakia joining the list, we have now 14 countries eligible for inclusion," he said.

France, UK and Germany were still missing from the list, he said. "Two million subscribers in Europe is still a small number compared to six million in North America and more than 30 million in Asia-Pacific."

The next update of the FTTH global ranking, reflecting the status of fibre-connected households at the end of 2009, will be presented at the FTTH Council Europe's annual conference in Lisbon, Portugal, on 24-25 February, 2010.


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