Fibre and cable now service 77 per cent of global subscriptions, says Point Topic

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Fibre and cable technologies are now servicing 77 per cent of fixed subscriptions, the latest figures released from Point Topic have revealed.

The new report, which cites the Global Broadband Statistics – taking into account subscriptions up to the end of 2017 – found that more than 50 per cent of people in more than 40 countries, including Singapore (97 per cent), China (89 per cent), United States (87 per cent), and the UK (55 per cent), are connected via full fibre, fibre fed copper or cable.

Point Topic research director Dr Jolanta Stanke said in a news release on behalf of the Broadband Forum: ‘We are finding that customers across most global regions increasingly prefer faster broadband services delivered over fibre and cable platforms, as opposed to ADSL. This trend will continue as more bandwidth-hungry young consumers become paying decision makers, even though superfast 4G LTE and 5G mobile broadband services will compete for their wallets.’

Fibre-fed subscriptions accounted for 57 per cent, with more than 530 million connections, and Stanke agreed VDSL and Gfast were together largely responsible for the growth that fibre has seen, with more than 30 operators across all continents deploying or trialling Gfast. ‘Gfast gives operators a more cost-effective variant of fibre that will be used by operators who want to upgrade their existing networks quicker and more easily,’ she said. ‘This could enable them to serve more customers in less densely populated areas, where direct fibre investment is less economically feasible.’

Cable, including hybrid fibre-coaxial, accounted for 20 per cent of all fixed broadband connections, said the report, with the latest standard of this technology currently deployed across several markets – particularly popular in North America – thanks to its ability to deliver gigabit download speeds.

Robin Mersh, CEO at Broadband Forum believes the figures reflect the move from trials to mass deployment of new technologies that let operators deploy fibre deep into the network without having to enter buildings.  He said: ‘If operators want to deliver competitive broadband services, maximizing their investments through the use of technologies like Gfast is vital. Expanding the footprint of their existing fibre networks in this way is cost-effective and delivers the gigabit speeds consumers crave.’

Point Topic also recently collaborated with the Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) on a new report, which revealed that nearly one million UK homes and businesses are now in reach of ultrafast full fibre connectivity via alternative network providers (see Alternative FTTP networks reaching nearly one million UK premises, says INCA).

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