FTTH accelerating in Europe: penetration forecast to reach 65% in 2026

The number of FTTH/B subscribers in Europe is expected to more than double in the next six years, to 208 million in 2026 compared to an estimated 86 million this year. According to the forecasts by iDate presented at the annual (this time virtual) FTTH Council Europe conference, the number of homes passed by fiber will grow over the same period to 317 million from 195 million. That translates into approximately two-thirds fiber network penetration rate, compared to less than half currently.

 Roland Montagne of Idate DigiWorld presenting during the second day of the conference.

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The forecasts cover 39 countries across Europe. Idate also looked at the 27 EU members plus the UK and found similar growth rates. The number of FTTH/B subscribers in these countries is expected to roughly triple by 2026, to 148 million from 49 million this year, driven by accelerating roll-out in key markets such as Germany, the UK and Italy. Homes passed in the 28 countries are estimated at 202 million in 2026, versus 105 million this year.  Some markets are expected to experience an outstanding growth in the number of homes passed in 2026 compared with 2019, including Germany (+730 per cent), United Kingdom (+548 per cent) and Italy (+218 per cent).

While the Covid pandemic has underlined the need for fast broadband at home, other trends were already underway to support fibre take-up, the researchers said. These include the upcoming switch-off of copper networks, more network-sharing and co-investment agreements, strong commitments from public authorities to FTTH, and the need for fiber backhaul on 5G mobile networks.

In the country rankings, it is predicted that Russia will continue leading in terms of FTTH/B homes passed. However, it is also anticipated that Germany will bag the second spot in the 2026 ranking.

In terms of subscribers, the forecast predicts a further increase to around 148 million in 2026 for EU27+UK and approximately 208 million for EU38+UK. The FTTH/B take-up rate is likely to reach 73 per cent in 2026, demonstrating an upward trend compared with a recorded 23.4 per cent in 2012.

The FTTH Council Europe published a separate study by Wik following up on its research last year into the progress with copper shutdowns. While the situation is fragmented in Europe, progress in some countries shows turning off copper and switching to fibre can have significant benefits for the economy and the environment, as well as improving reliability and customer satisfaction.

Consumer awareness about the copper shutdown has been a positive factor in some countries in stimulating fiber take-up. The latest forecasts on fibre take-up are also based in part on the increased perception of broadband’s importance since the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, additional measures by policy-makers aimed at increasing take-up are still crucial for Europe to benefit from the potential of full fiber, the Council said.

FTTH/B deployments are intensifying across Europe, so it is worth noting that a new digital divide for teleworking performance was revealed by the Covid-19 crisis. Beyond its impact on public policies, it is clear that Covid-19 has changed public perception of the importance of broadband and willingness to accept premium for fiber. This new trend is one of the key drivers for the very high estimates for FTTH/B take up. However, additional measures by policy-makers aimed at increasing take-up are still crucial for the future of full fiber.

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References:

https://www.primaonline.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/PR-Market-Forecasts-market-panorama-2020-3-03-2020-FINAL.pdf

https://www.ftthcouncil.eu/documents/FTTH%20Council%20Europe%20-%20Forecast%20for%20EUROPE%202020-2026%20AFTER%20COVID19%20-%20FINAL%20Published%20Version.pdf

https://www.ftthcouncil.eu/documents/FTTH%20Council%20Europe%20-%20Panorama%20at%20September%202019%20-%20Webinar%20Version4.pdf

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/ftth-take-up-accelerating-in-europe-penetration-forecast-to-reach-65-in-2026–1364315

https://www.fibre-systems.com/news/fibre-forecasts-revealed-ftth-conference

UK set to join Europe’s big guns on full fibre rollout

One thought on “FTTH accelerating in Europe: penetration forecast to reach 65% in 2026

  1. Those are impressive numbers. It is especially difficult to build in some parts of Europe because of the need to preserve old infrastructure (e.g. brick roads, dense urban environments, etc.).

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