The Optical fiber At home continues to grow: new estimates ofThe Council of Europe crumbled indicate that, By 2026, 197 million homes in the EU27+ UK will be reached by FTTH/FTTB, with increase 67% Compared to what is estimated for 2021 (118 million).
Ultra broadband subscribers will reach 135 million subscribers, More than double 60 million in 2021. The adoption rate will rise to 68.7% from 51.1% this year. Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are the markets with the highest growth rate.
The FTTH Council in Europe has also presented its forecasts for the period 2021-2026 for enlarged Europe, examining 39 countries. The total number of homes reached by FTTH/FTTB in 2026 is 302 million, of which, as we have seen, nearly 200 million, are in the European Union out of 27 plus the United Kingdom. The total number of subscribers in Europe 39 will reach 197 million in 2026.
Italy on the podium for growth in fiber coverage
With 16 million homes reached in 2021, the growth rate in Italy from 2020 to the current year is estimated at 46%, but From 2020 to 2026 it will be a real boom of +136%, equivalent to 26 million homes covered with fibres. These growth rates put us in fourth place in Europe 39 Countries are considered after the UK, which is racing at +488%, Germany (+385%) and the Netherlands (+144%).
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We’re not that smart but we’re gaining ground when it comes to adoption. From 2020 to 2021, Italy saw a 72% increase in subscriptions to a total of 2.7 million, Tenths of Europe 39. By 2026 we will record a growth rate of 422% We put in seventh place with a total of 8.2 million fiber ultra broadband subscriptions. The UK is the fastest growing ever (+1662% compared to 2020) but hm France and Germany will have more subscribers in 2026: respectively 26.3 (+ 154%) and 25.5 million (+ 1150%).
The other side of the coin: very low demand in Italy
Come Penetration in relation to total houses reach Italy to 10% in 2021 It will rise according to expectations 29.3% in 2026. We will be 15 in Europe out of 39: in five years, France and Spain will lead the rankings (both with a penetration of 86.2%).
By 2026, 2 million Italian homes still cannot be accessed by FTTH / FTTB. Germany and the United Kingdom are the two countries in Western Europe that will face a gap larger than ours: 9.6 million and 4.3 million, respectively.
Ma the worst It is in the subscriptions: the Italian fiber infrastructure is growing but the Italians, despite their access to FTTH / FTTB, are not subscribing. Still in 2026, as many as 19.8 million households will not subscribe to fiber despite being covered by the new networks. It is the worst result in Europe after Russia.
I am fattori-traino: Covid e Recovery plan
Among the factors driving fiber growth in Europe, there is definitely the Covid-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the digitization of daily activities, from work to study, and from entertainment to shopping, which has increased the demand for ultra-wideband in homes. The increase in network traffic has supported the carriers’ investments in new fiber connections.
Ma The real long-term driver of growth is European and national plans to digitize economies. Italian PNRR Therefore, it plays an essential role in supporting fiber delivery.
“The trend will be intensified by new usage models that encourage network operators to move to FTTH solutions, which are capable of providing new services while at the same time contributing to the sustainability of new applications,” he said. Vincent Garnier, Director General of the FTTH Council of Europe. The report shows that there is still huge potential for connectivity growth in many EU countries even as implementations progress rapidly. However, once the infrastructure is in place, FTTH Council Europe believes there is a long way to go to create a fully digital society. We are deeply committed to entering the new digital decade and shaping Europe’s digital transformation by 2030 The real challenge is adoption and we appeal to governments to take the necessary steps that enable end users To take advantage of the limitless possibilities offered by full fiber connectivity.”
The essence of the digital divide: poorly covered rural areas
The Council of Europe also published FTTH Its first report on whole fiber in rural Europe, with data for 10 countries in the European Union, Including Italy. The data is discouraging: although more than two-thirds of homes in rural areas have access to Nga, FTTH/FTTB coverage stops at 22% in less densely populated areas, versus 45% coverage achieved in all 27 EU + UK regions.
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