EU carriers face fiber double-squeeze

Dylan Bushell-Embling
09 Sep 2010
Daily News
European operators are paying the price of years of delay in rolling out fiber access networks, with fast-growing competition from cable operators and utility companies.
Much of Europe is lagging seven years behind Asia and the US in FTTH and FTTB deployment, according to a new report from Arthur D Little.
Several of Europe’s incumbents plan to roll out fiber, but only to cover 5%-10% of households within two to three years – very low compared to the more than 50% of households passed in leading countries.
Already, 65% of European fiber connections been deployed by utility companies, alternative operators and housing associations, the report says.
Cable operators have also updated their networks to DOCSIS 3.0, allowing them to offer speeds of 50Mbps to 100Mbps to areas not covered by fiber.
As a result, they are capturing a very high share of net additions. In Germany, cable firms accounted for 50% of broadband net additions in 2009 within their footprints.