Jan
19
2012

Germany Lagging in FTTH Adoption, Says FTTH Council Europe

BRUSSELS – With fiber to the home available only to 1 million homes at yearend 2011, Germany remains one of the European laggards in ultrafast broadband. According to preliminary data revealed by the FTTH Council Europe, Germany’s FTTH market is dominated by competitive providers, often supported by municipalities and utilities, and mostly focused on large cities.

The data, collected for the Council on a twice-yearly basis by industry analyst firm IDATE, shows the number of FTTH/B subscribers in Germany is just 166,000 — a sixth of all households that have access to fiber and only 0.4 percent of the total number of households in the country. The Council comments that this slow uptake “prevent[s] the majority of German citizens from reaping the socioeconomic benefits of FTTH/B access.”

German consumers’ lack of interest, the Council says, is due in part to existing long-term contracts that keep customers tied to an Internet provider for up to 24 months and in part to the fact that marketing of FTTH is poor or nonexistent.

German telecom providers are not explaining to consumers that only FTTH/B can ensure continuously large reliable upload and download bandwidth, combined with high quality of service, or that FTTH/B enables a new world of services and applications in home entertainment, as well as new ways of working and taking care of the sick and the elderly.

In other European countries, including Sweden, Norway and Lithuania, more than 10 percent of all households are already using FTTH/B connections. France, the Netherlands, Russia and Turkey also have a considerable head start.

“It remains to be seen whether the year 2012 will mark a change in Germany’s FTTH positioning,” says Hartwig Tauber, director general of the FTTH Council Europe. “For a large country such as Germany, time is of the essence, and the course has to be set today in order to ensure a timely solution for the implementation of future-proof access solutions, particularly if the country is to keep its leading role as the driving force of the European economy!”

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