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Fiber-to-the-Home in U.S. Barely Reaches 1%


Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan are the world leaders in the percentage of homes that receive broadband communications services over direct fiber optic connections, according to a new global ranking of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) market penetration issued jointly by the FTTH Councils of Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America.

According to this first ever official ranking of FTTH deployments in the world's economies, 21.2 percent of homes in Hong Kong are wired with FTTH, followed by South Korea at 19.6 percent and Japan at 16.3 percent. Scandinavian countries occupy the next three positions, with Sweden having 7.2 percent of its households connected to FTTH, Denmark at 2.9 percent and Norway at 2.5 percent.

Taiwan, Italy, People's Republic of China, The Netherlands and the United States round out the top 11 economies, with FTTH penetration rates of between 1.4 and 1 percent of households. Only economies with penetration of 1 percent or more were included in the ranking.

The three regional FTTH Councils joined together to create this first official global FTTH ranking in order to provide the telecommunications industry, governments and regulators with a unique snapshot of international fiber access penetration. Going forward, the Councils will update and re-issue the rankings on an annual basis, as well as work jointly to further refine the research methods in order to provide more in-depth information.

Announcing the release of the global ranking at the FTTH Council Asia-Pacific's Beijing Conference today, Shoichi Hanatani, President of the FTTH Council Asia-Pacific said, "For the first time we have a tool to monitor the transition that is now occurring around the world, from legacy copper loops to powerful new optical fiber access networks."

The global ranking follows the unified definition of FTTH terms announced by the three Councils last year, and which has formed the basis for recent market research by each Council. For completeness and accuracy, the ranking includes both FTTH and FTTB (fiber-to-the-building) figures, while copper-based broadband access technologies (DSL, FTT-Curb, FTT-Node) are not included.

"By pooling the data from three regional market studies, the compiled information completes a dedicated resource for global telecommunications professionals to compare industry research from different regions of the world, and open some eyes to the wider FTTH picture," said Joeri Van Bogaert, President of the FTTH Council Europe. "This will be useful in monitoring the success of government and regulatory policy in supporting the historical transition to fiber-based broadband."

"With this global ranking, it is now evident which countries are FTTH leaders and which are FTTH laggards," said Joe Savage, President of the FTTH Council North America. "What is most interesting is how the leading economies in FTTH penetration are also those with clear public policies aimed at promoting deployment of next-generation broadband networks as a matter of strategic national importance."

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