The global figures will not be released until tomorrow, but the FTTH Council Europe has already released some data today that shows that Europe remains behind in relation to the adoption of optical fiber vis-à-vis the United States and the Asia / Pacific region. With 2.5 million users – 3.5 million if you consider Russia’s numbers – the region remains a far cry from 38 million subscribers in Asia and 7.6 million in America.
Without wanting to «blame» the European Commission specifically for the delay in regulatory clarification, Karel Helsen, president of FTTH Council Europe, defended in a press conference that no operator will invest if there is no clarity in the model for sharing and opening networks.
Considering that Europe is a «freshman» in this area, he recalled that the situation is quite different from Asia, where there is a clear commitment from Governments to implement the infrastructure, or from the United States, where regulatory investment protection took place.
Asked by TeK about the possibility of Europe never catching up, not only due to the number of users but also due to the lack of interest in investing in this technology, as there are other alternatives, the president of the FFTH Council Europe argues that there is no technology that is really alternative to the quality of connection that FTTH can provide, and that even LTE is a complement.
«We feel that there are many market players who consider that investment in FTTH is the best model of sustainability […] We believe that in Europe there is either a government impulse and a regulatory regime that allows the development of networks or we will have more «pains» and difficulties, with companies leaving the market for other regions and the delay in access to services by citizens «, he says Karel Helsen.
Portugal enters the ranking by a short margin
The figures for the European market confirm that Portugal entered the ranking of European economies with the highest penetration of fiber to the home, but is in 14th out of 15 countries, followed only by Bulgaria. Lithuania is the big star of this year, leading the ranking with 18% penetration, followed by Sweden and Norway. But there are other eastern countries taking a place in this honor, such as Slovenia, Estonia, Slovakia and Latvia.
Although with more than 1 million connected homes, Portugal remains behind in the number of subscribers to the service, a fact that Roland Montagne, from IDATE, the company responsible for the study, explains with the fact that the infrastructure is still very recent and the operators are in the phase of attracting customers.
Editorial note: Corrected information regarding the name of the company responsible for the study, IDATE and not IDITE.