At the 2010 FTTH Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this week, the FTTH Council released its latest ranking of economies with the highest penetrations of fiber-to-the-home (and building) FTTH/B.

The latest ranking includes 24 economies worldwide that have at least one percent of their households connected to FTTH/B. South Korea remains the global leader in FTTH/B market penetration with more than 50 percent of broadband subscribers connected to all-fiber networks, while Japan ranks second with more than 35 percent of households actively using FTTH/B connections.  Meanwhile, a number of Eastern European economies, notably Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia and Bulgaria, continue to show strong market penetration for FTTH as deployments expand in those countries.

The first six months of 2010 show a continuous global growth of all-fiber networks, with Asia still the leading region on FTTH/B but the United States (ranked 11th) and Russia (ranked 19th) continuing to expand their fiber coverage.

"While North America’s largest FTTH provider, Verizon, is nearing its goals on its massive buildout, it appears that more than 750 smaller telecoms across North America, including a growing number in Canada, are picking up the slack and setting the stage for continued expansion of all-fiber networks," said Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council North America, in a statement.

"With Bulgaria and Romania joining the Global Ranking, the Eastern European countries are leading the drive for fiber in Europe," said Chris Holden, president of the FTTH Council Europe, in a statement. "If we include Russia, today the majority of FTTH/B connections are in Eastern Europe."

For Asia/Pacific countries, "An interesting new development is property developers’ involvement in high rise buildings (especially in MDUs and MTUs) and industrial and technology parks," said Y.K. Loke, president of the FTTH Council Asia Pacific, in a statement. "There is the debate of urban versus rural deployment. Thus the theme of our forthcoming APAC Conference in India entitled – Fiber bridging the socio-economic divide."

The FTTH Global Ranking is based on the FTTH Councils’ definition of FTTH/B: it includes both Fiber to the Home (FTTH), where the fiber connection reaches direct to the household, and Fiber to the Building (FTTB), where fiber terminates inside the boundary of a multi-tenant building. The ranking covers all countries with at least 200,000 households where the penetration of FTTH/B has reached 1 percent of the total number of homes.

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