Ireland fails to break into EU Top 10 fibre-to-the-home rankings

8 Sep 2009

While Scandinavia and many small countries are leading the Top 10 EU countries in fibre penetration, Ireland and larger nations like France, Germany and the UK have failed to break into the list.

Even though operators like Magnet Networks and Smart have fibre-to-the-home networks and Eircom is trialling the technology in parts of Dublin, the country has failed to achieve the level of footprint that other nations have in terms of this next generation of communications technology.

Yesterday, the FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) Council Europe announced the latest figures showing which EU countries are leading the way in the penetration of fibre-to-the-home.

Sweden leads the line-up of the Top 10 adopters of FTTH services with more than 10pc of FTTH penetration, followed by Norway, Slovenia, Andorra, Denmark, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Finland.

“The ranking clearly demonstrates that Scandinavia and the continent’s smaller economies are continuing to dominate this list,” says Thomas Kallstenius, chair of the FTTH Council Europe’s Marketing and Intelligence Committee (MIC).

Sweden, Norway and Slovenia still hold the Top 3 spots, while new entrant Slovakia takes the place of Italy, which drops out of the Top 10. Large countries like France, Germany and the UK have still not broken into the list.

The FTTH Council Europe’s unique ranking is part of its Market Panorama study, commissioned by the MIC and carried out by research firm IDATE. It shows the percentage of homes and businesses that receive broadband communications services over direct fibre optic connections to their homes or buildings.

The latest figures are the half-year update to the global FTTH ranking released twice a year by the three FTTH Council organisations. The next updated global listing will be revealed at the FTTH Council Europe’s annual conference, to be held in Lisbon on February 24-25, 2010.

The ranking is one of five MIC studies launched in 2009 in the committee’s biggest-ever programme of independent research. Prestigious names like Yankee Group, Analysys Mason, Pyramid Research, IDATE and Heavy Reading are looking into different aspects of FTTH adoption and its effects on economies, communities and individuals.

Other FTTH Council Europe committees will also be unveiling the results of their own research at the Lisbon event.

“Our ambitious programme of research is part of an ongoing effort to demonstrate that FTTH is a sustainable technology,”FTTH Council Europe President Karel Helsen said.

“All those attending the FTTH Conference in Lisbon will have the chance to hear first hand and in detail the results of these unique studies before they are announced to the world,”Helsen said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years