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The state of the fibre optic connection in Spain in 2020

Spain has the most powerful fibre networks in Europe, however, there are still regions without coverage. 

Thanks to the total commitment to FTTH (fiber-to-the-home), Spain has a stable connection that goes directly from the telephone exchange to home. According to data from the European Council on FTTH 2020, Spain has more facilities connected with fibre than the total added amount of France, Germany, Italy and the UK.

A report published last April by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation explains that the general coverage is 94 per cent for 30 Mbps and 84 per cent for more than 100 Mbps, with the prospect of reaching 91.24 per cent for this last speed in 2021, following the projects that are now being deployed.

Adding the different operators, a total of 43,319,265 connections are recorded, reaching FTTH fiber coverage for 80.4 per cent of households in Spain, placing Spain well above the European average, which is below the 30 per cent.

In 2016 FTHH coverage was 63 per cent, increasing to 77 per cent in 2018. Now, more than three out of four homes in Spain have fibre optic coverage.

The greatest growth has been in provinces that were in the queue for deployments in 2018, for example Zamora, Lugo or Ávila, with coverage increasing more than 30 per cent in the last year.

According to data from April 2020 from the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), the deployment reached a total of 51 million accesses of FTTH fibre, compared to 45 million in December 2018.

Specifically, of the 12.5 million lines with a speed greater than or equal to 30 Mbps, 93.4 per cent had a contracted speed of 100 Mbps or more.

In the case of Orange, the initial plan in 2017 was to reach 16 million fibre optic homes by 2020, achieving coverage of more than 70 per cent in all populations with more than 5,000 inhabitants. The current result is that we are at 66.8 per cent coverage for these populations and that Orange’s numbers, according to its latest quarterly results, are 15.1 million households with fibre.

Vodafone is not used to setting fibre targets, but in 2013 it announced an agreement to reach 6 million households with fibre in 2017. A target that was exceeded since, as of September 2019, they had 10.4 million households with fibre.

Fibre optic deployment plans are close to meeting the expectations set for 2020, with a few months remaining to achieve the goals set a few years ago.

Telefónica proposed in 2016 during its meeting “Digitization, the great opportunity for Spain” to reach 25 million households with fibre optics by 2020. Four years ago, Telefónica explained that in 2020 fibre would reach populations of less than 1,000 inhabitants, something that has been fully met.

They have not met the goal of 25 million, remaining at 23.6 million FTTH according to the quarterly results of June 2020 .

High-speed fibre optic connections are becoming increasingly in demand, and since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, these good connections are also more necessary for telecommuting.

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