The Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council Europe has released its annual global ranking of economies with more than 1 per cent of premises connected to FTTH fibre optic networks, from which the UK is still absent.
FTTH delivers high-speed broadband access to properties, where the fibre-optic cable is delivered directly to the doorstep. However, it is more expensive to procure than alternative deployments.
The annual list now includes 30 economies worldwide that have at least one per cent of premises connected to FTTH, but there have been no new European entrants and the UK is still not on the list, despite broadband deployment plans ramping up over the past 12 months.
South Korea currently leads the table with 58 per cent market penetration, followed by the United Arab Emirates (56 per cent), Hong Kong (45 per cent), Japan (42 per cent) and Taiwan (29 per cent).
Chris Holden, president of the FTTH Council Europe, expressed his disappointment at the results. "We are concerned that there is no new entrant from Europe," he said.
"On the positive side, we see a steady growth in our region. Still, there is a long way to reach the Digital Agenda targets of the European Union to ensure that more than 50 per cent of the European households will use broadband connections of 100Mbit/s or more in 2020," added Holden.
The UK government has committed to investing £730m up until 2015 to create the best superfast broadband network in Europe.
The FTTH Council Europe was set up in 2004 to accelerate the availability of fibre-based, high-speed access networks for the benefit of businesses and consumers.