That will equal a FTTH penetration rate in the 38 countries covered by the forecast of 10.6 percent, notes Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Graham Finnie. (The countries covered by the forecast include Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Turkey. Together they have about 300 million households.)
Unfortunately for the European Union, which has set aggressive high-speed broadband growth targets for the rest of this decade, much of the growth will come from non-member states, particularly Russia, which is set to account for more than 10 million FTTH lines (either fiber direct to the home or to a multi-tenant buildings) on its own by the end of 2016.
And Finnie notes that markets such as Turkey and Ukraine (also not EU member states) will account for another major tranche of the growth in the next five years.
In fact, of the 32 million FTTH users in the European region in 2016, only about 17 million will be in EU member countries, giving the Union (which has about 197 million homes) a FTTH household penetration rate of less than 9 percent.
"From a EU point of view, it's not really good enough, especially if the EU wants to be competitive with other regions in terms of attracting business," Finnie tells Light Reading. "The EU has an aggressive goal to have all households connected with at least 30Mbit/s downstream broadband by 2020, with half of all homes having a connection of at least 100Mbit/s and it might struggle to achieve that unless it includes cable broadband and DSL lines with vectoring."
Some EU member states will, though, experience significant improvements in terms of FTTH uptake during the next few years, though, says the analyst. France "has been disappointing until now, but there is a lot of activity there," while even Germany should have about 2 million FTTH users by the end of 2016 from almost none just now, notes Finnie.
Europe's FTTH 'maturity curve
Finnie expects France to reach "FTTH maturity" (that is, having a 20 percent household penetration rate) in 2018, while Germany is not due to achieve that state until 2022. The European Union as a whole is expected to reach maturity in 2020. Sweden is set to be the first European country to achieve the status, in 2014.
The real laggards, though, are Italy and the U.K., which are not expected to achieve FTTH maturity until after 2022, according to Finnie's forecast.
By contrast, Japan and South Korea achieved FTTH Maturity in 2007.
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