FTTH Council Europe Membership: A Thriving Ecosystem
With almost 100 participants joining us in person in Berlin, the record attendance at the last 2023 Autumn General Assembly signifies an increasing engagement level among our 165 Members, a testimony to the value we strived to deliver across the past 12 months. With a diverse membership spanning the entire FTTH ecosystem across most European markets, we now boast eight very dynamic committees committed to generating content and creating initiatives to support the mission of the FTTH Council Europe and the development of our industry. Their unwavering commitment and spearheading of activities have been undoubtedly commendable.
Moreover, while our association is now a well-established entity for all European stakeholders and decision-makers, our global footprint remains robust, as evident from our active participation in the FTTH Council Global Alliance (FCGA) and our chairing of the annual summit in Prague earlier this year. The FCGA summit has been the opportunity for some of our Members to engage with decisionmakers from other regions of the world, enabling them to share knowledge, listen to different perspectives, and learn from the success stories of our US, South America, Africa, MENA, and APAC sister councils' representatives.
Celebrating 20 Years of Activities: A Milestone and a Reminder
2023 closes a chapter in the life of our association. As we approach our 20th anniversary of activities, it is essential to acknowledge the achievements made since 2004. However, let's not forget that the FTTH Council Europe's offices in Brussels only got connected to fibre few weeks ago. This proves that, despite 60% of European households having FTTH access1, countries like the UK, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Belgium still have significant ground to cover.
Plus, we shall all remember that fibre coverage is only the first step. In addition to laying down fibre infrastructure across all of Europe, our focus remains on ensuring effective adoption of fibre-based services, an issue becoming increasingly critical for our industry, which represented a strong focus in our 2023 program, culminated with the publication of a first-of-its-kind study by Plum Consulting on FTTH adoption drivers and hurdles in Europe. With only half of European subscribers leveraging FTTH connectivity, this underscores the enduring relevance of our mission, even 20 years after our inception.
Policy & Regulation: Shaping the Future
The past 12 months have been very busy for our Policy & Regulation Committee. The European Commission took many important initiatives (Gigabit Connectivity Recommendation, Gigabit Infrastructure Act, Consultation on the future of the electronic communications sector and its infrastructure) and we discussed all documents internally before sharing our position with policymakers. Overall, we welcome these initiatives, which contribute to an acceleration of FTTH rollout.
2024 will be a pivotal year in many respects. The Digital Networks Act initiative has been announced, and we will communicate our position during the drafting process, actively contributing to shaping the policy direction. We are set to enter a new legislative cycle with the European Parliament Elections in June, followed by the new European Commission towards the end of the year. The FTTH Council Europe will communicate early in 2024 about what we think should be further developed to accelerate the deployment and adoption of full-fibre networks. Preparing, planning, and implementing copper switch-off will be high on this agenda, as well as the recognition of the benefits in terms of sustainability brought by FTTH.
1 Figures from our European FTTH/B Market Panorama 2023