Europe hits 121 million FTTH/B connections

  • The FTTH Europe Council has provided its annual fibre broadband stats update
  • The data is collected and presented each year by research firm Idate
  • Across 39 European regional markets, there are now 121 million active fibre-to-the-home/building (FTTH/B) connections, up by 13% year on year
  • Fibre broadband lines now pass almost 70% of the 349 million premises in Europe
  • France has the most FTTH/B connections, while Spain has the highest take-up rate

Fibre broadband lines now reach 244 million homes and businesses across 39 markets in Europe and nearby markets, and 121 million, almost half of those lines, are in active use by subscribers, according to the latest statistics compiled by research house Idate and published in an annual update by the FTTH Council Europe. 

That means 69.9% of the region’s 349 million homes and businesses are currently reached by a fibre line, either directly or via a fibre that runs to a multi-tenant building.  

Idate’s latest annual report, which covers the 12-month period up to the end of September 2023, looks at the state of the fibre-to-the-home/building (FTTH/B) market in the 27 European Union member states, plus the UK, Iceland, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Israel, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and two other countries (those two being Belarus and Russia, from which statistics are bundled into the aggregated totals but not broken out or specified due to the involvement of those countries in the invasion of Ukraine).  

The total numbers show an ongoing and gradual increase in premises passed and fibre broadband lines activated, as the number of premises reached (or passed) by fibre increased by 23 million (or 10.4%) during the 12 months to the end of September last year, while the number of active connections increased by 14 million, or 13%, compared with a year earlier.  

Over the past five years, the number of premises reached has grown from 143 million in September 2018 to 244 million last year, while the number of FTTH/B subscribers has risen from 61 million to 121 million. 

In the absence of statistics from Russia, France leads the way in terms of the number of premises reached and the number of fibre broadband subscribers in the region, with 26.3 million and 20.6 million respectively. Turkey’s fibre access lines reach 18 million premises but it only has 6.6 million subscribers, while Spain’s fibre access lines reach 16.9 million premises and the country has 14.5 million FTTH/B subscribers.

That puts Spain’s take-up rate –  the percentage of available fibre lines being used by subscribers – as the highest in the region, at 85.8%, closely followed by Iceland (82.5%), Portugal (82.4%) and Sweden (80.7%) – see the map above.  

And what about the future? According to the forecast for the 39 markets, fibre lines are expected to reach 312 million premises by 2029, while the number of active lines is expected to hit 201 million by that year. In 2029, the top-three countries in terms of the number of homes or businesses reached will be Germany (38.6 million), France (33.3 million) and the UK (29.6 million). 

These are just a few of the statistics published by Idate and the FTTH Council Europe in their updated reports: You can find all the source material with the full country-by-country statistics here.  

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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