The recent Ookla report on worldwide connectivity in 2023 has provided insights on the developments in fixed networks globally, particularly focusing on the growth and impact of Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology.
Fixed Network Advancements: The significant improvements in fixed broadband network performance globally, with a 19 percent increase in download speed (83.95 Mbps) and a substantial 28 percent enhancement in upload speed (38.32 Mbps) in Q3 2023 compared to the previous year, signify a broad migration towards fiber networks.
Fiber’s Dominance: The report emphasizes the shift towards FTTH as a natural progression from older copper-based xDSL networks. Fiber’s adoption is driving these performance gains across various countries and regions.
Wi-Fi as a Bottleneck: Despite advancements in broadband technology, Wi-Fi often becomes a limiting factor, with speeds typically ranging from 30-40 percent of ethernet. This indicates a need to accelerate the adoption of more advanced Wi-Fi technologies to optimize the home network environment.
Leaders in Fixed Network Performance: Countries like the UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chile, Thailand, the United States, and several European countries are showcased for their notable advancements in fixed network performance:
UAE and Singapore lead in median download speeds, with the UAE experiencing a substantial increase driven by fiber adoption and measures like increased minimum speeds and pricing incentives.
Singapore, Qatar, and South Korea have achieved impressive 100 percent FTTH coverage, attributed to regulatory measures and developer mandates.
Hong Kong saw significant progress, monitoring broadband adoption with a substantial percentage (66 percent) subscribing to speeds equal to or greater than 1 Gbps.
Chile’s strong fixed broadband performance is due to intense competition among ISPs, leading to a significant improvement in speeds.
Thailand shows impressive FTTH growth, constituting a high percentage of fixed broadband users and household penetration.
The United States is seeing advancements through a combination of fiber migration, 5G fixed-wireless access, and faster cable connections, further incentivized by regulatory bodies seeking increased broadband standards.
European countries like Denmark, Spain, and France showcase significant improvements in median download and upload speeds due to increased fiber adoption and government support initiatives.
The Ookla research has earlier shown that Wi-Fi performance can lag behind ethernet in markets where advanced cable and fiber connections are replacing legacy broadband technology (such as DSL or coax cable).
“Wi-Fi speeds typically range from 30-40 percent of ethernet, indicating a need to accelerate the adoption of more advanced Wi-Fi technologies and optimize the home network environment,” Sylwia Kechiche, Principal Industry Analyst, Enterprise at Ookla, said.