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FTTH Council Europe and IDATE Unveil 2021 Fibre Market Forecast and Panorama

The Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Council Europe and IDATE have today unveiled their 2021 Fibre Market Forecast and Panorama with promising news for Ireland’s FTTH Market. The report which is released annually covers the progression of FTTH roll out in EU Member States, up to September 2020.  Ireland’s FTTP roll out now covers 1,044,000 (more than half of the housing stock) homes up from 700,000 (one third) last year.

Ireland is cited in the report as having the fourth highest growth rate (49%) of homes passed in the EU 27+UK. With 224,000 subscriptions Ireland now has 11% of households connected to FTTP up from 8% last year.

Ireland first joined the FTTH Council Leader boards in 2018 after having 1% of homes connected with 100% FTTP broadband. Since then, we have consistently placed in the Top 5 Countries in terms of Homes Passed and Subscriptions growth rate, beating out larger countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany.

One other such report that ranks EU Member States progression in rolling out high speed connectivity is the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) report by the European Commission. The categories within the report focus on Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet Services, Integration of Digital Technology and Digital Public Services.

Overall, Ireland ranks 6th out of the EU27+UK, noting that Ireland has been the fastest growing Member State over the last five years. Ireland maintains its top position in its Integration of Digital Technology, 8th in Use of Internet Services, 9th in Digital Public Services, 11th in Human Capital and 23rd in connectivity.

SIRO in September had approx. 343,920 homes passed accounting for 20% of homes passed in Ireland and approx. 80,000 subscribers accounting for 36% of the market share in Q3 2020 (Comreg Q3 2020).
Now, as of April 2021, SIRO covers 370,000 homes passed with over 90,000 subscribers.

Commenting on the announcement, SIRO CEO, John Keaney said: “We are delighted to hear of the progress that Ireland is making in connecting homes and businesses with the gold standard of connectivity that is FTTP broadband. Amid a global pandemic, FTTP Gigabit broadband is crucial in ensuring all aspects of life such as e-Commerce, e-learning, e-health and e-government, remain connected and SIRO is proud to play the role of furthering the digital agenda in Ireland. The rate of switch over to fibre in Ireland has been significant relative to others within the EU and this has stood our society and economy well during Covid-19. With fibre yet to pass 50% of all homes in Ireland, all stakeholders must remain focused on finishing the work of rolling out fibre.  Gigabit fibre broadband accessible to all is no longer a nice to have but an essential utility central to the functioning of all aspects of our society.”

Director General, Vincent Garnier commented: “As the most sustainable telecommunication infrastructure technology, full fibre is a prerequisite to achieve the European Green Deal and make the European Union’s economy more sustainable. Our 2021 Market Panorama reveals that, for the first time, FTTH/B coverage in Europe surpasses more than half of total homes. Although this is a great achievement of the European fibre industry, there is still a long way to go. As fibre roll out accelerates, it becomes critical to focus on fibre adoption and copper switch-off.”

FTTH Council Europe Spokesperson, Eric Joyce, elaborated: “Ireland has made great strides in fibre densification since first joining the FTTH Market Panorama Leader boards in 2018. The FTTH Council Europe’s main goal is to accelerate the ubiquitous fibre-based connectivity, empowering member states throughout Europe in creating and sustaining a digital society. I am personally proud that my home country, Ireland, has performed exceptionally well in 2020, being the 4th fastest growing country in the EU27+UK region in terms of Homes Passed % growth.  This has led Ireland into the top half of our coverage leader boards with almost 56% of all homes now passed with Fibre. The annual report highlights the collective progress that Telcos, such as SIRO, have made in their roll outs and this year, with the arrival of a global pandemic, reminds us of our commitments in delivering the gold standard of connectivity that is FTTP broadband.”