Since June 2011, Europe (EU+8) has added more than 600,000 new fiber to the home subscribers. That represents a growth rate of 41 percent in 2011, with more than 5.1 million FTTH or fiber to the basement subscribers, and nearly 28 million homes passed at end-2011. That implies overall penetration of about 18 percent of locations in service.

In the ranking of leading FTTH countries with more than one percent penetration of households, the top three countries are Lithuania (28.3 percent penetration), Norway (14.7 percent) and Sweden (13.6 percent).

Although Spain is not included in the FTTH ranking, it is likely to be included in the foreseeable future as it has witnessed the largest growth for 2011, with greater than 184 percent growth.

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But none of the larger countries have yet broken 10 percent penetration.

France, for example, has penetration of about 2.5 percent. European governments of course want faster deployment and uptake, but service providers have been arguing that the risks are quite high and the financial returns quite low, especially compared with other uses for investment capital, such as mobile services or international expansion.

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