The number of fibre optic broadband lines in Europe is expected to more than double over the next six years from last year’s levels as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates demand for faster internet services.
High speed fibre will pass 202 million houses in the European Union and Britain by 2026, up from 88.1 million in 2019, according to a joint report by consultancy firm IDATE and industry group FTTH Council Europe.
Germany, Britain and Italy are among countries expected to experience significant growth in the number of homes passed in 2026 compared to 2019, with Germany expected to see 730 percent growth, Britain 548 percent and Italy 218 percent.
The number of subscribers in the EU and Britain will increase to around 148 million in 2026 from 70.4 million in 2019, according to the forecasts.
“COVID-19 can partially explain this massive growth as it led to more data traffic and new broadband demands with people staying at home, which in turn increased the demand for fibre,” the report said, noting that the epidemic had accelerated existing trends.
Among factors boosting fibre-to-the-home adoption across Europe, the report cites switch off plans for old-copper networks and a strong commitment by governments to fibre optic rollout plans.