Half of Europe's population can now access full fibre broadband

Optical fiber
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Half the population of Europe can now get access to full fibre technology according to new figures from the FTTH Council Europe.

The industry body, which promotes the interests of fibre to the home / premise (FTTP) technology, says nearly 172 million homes are now connected across 39 European states. As many as 12 million properties were added between September 2018 and September 2019, ensuring that 49.9 per cent of the population is now covered.

An increase in the adoption rate of 15 per cent now means 40.9 percent of all homes and businesses passed are now taking advantage of faster speeds with broadband deals.

Full fibre broadband

“Ubiquitous and reliable digital infrastructure has never played such a crucial role as today connecting families, enabling business activities and working from home,” declared Erzsébet Fitori, Director General of the FTTH Council Europe. “Very high capacity connectivity is not only mission critical in times of crisis but will also be fundamental for economic recovery and the transition towards a sustainable, green EU economy.”

“Competitive investments in very high capacity networks should, therefore, remain a high political priority and we look forward to working with the EU institutions, national governments and [regulators] towards removing bureaucratic and other barriers from the way of network deployment.”

In absolute numbers, France Italy and Spain added the most properties during the 12 month period. But in terms of growth rate, the UK is fourth with 50.8 per cent. The FTTH’s figures suggest Total fibre penetration now standards at 2.8 percent  - the third lowest of all countries. However by the time the next report is published that figure will have increased.

Both Openreach and Virgin Media are investing in FTTP infrastructure, while several new firms, such as Cityfibre, Hyperoptic and Gigaclear, have spent the past few years building FTTP networks in urban and rural parts of the country, hoping to service underserved communities, businesses, and consumers seeking faster speeds.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.