Greece and Belgium reported the lowest levels of FTTP coverage, at 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent. In the UK, FTTP coverage was only slightly higher at 1.8 percent.
“This reflects the preference of operators in these countries to prioritise their deployment strategies on upgrading existing VDSL networks, rather than investing in the typically more expensive FTTP technology,” Fellenbaum reiterated, principal analyst at IHS Markit and manager of the project.
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Broadband network operators across Europe continue to focus their deployment strategies on upgrading existing copper DSL networks instead of investing in the typically more expensive deployments of fibre optic networks all the way to customers’ property.
“Since 2013, VDSL has been the fastest growing fixed broadband technology tracked by the study, and some countries have seen dramatic year-on-year growth in VDSL,” Fellenbaum said. “For instance, VDSL coverage in Italy more than doubled during the twelve-month period to mid-2016, as coverage increased by 33.6 percentage points. Iceland, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia also witnessed double-digit growth in VDSL coverage during the twelve-month period to mid-2016.”
Availability of fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) services in Portugal improved by 10.7 percentage points during the twelve-month period to mid-2016 and as a consequence of this growth, Portugal with 86.1 percent of home passed by FTTP networks has now surpassed Latvia (85.2 percent) and Lithuania (81.4 percent) to rank first in terms of FTTP coverage among all study countries.