Most European broadband to still come from copper lines in 2020

Most of Europe will still get its broadband delivered over copper phone lines, despite the rollout of fibre, according to research by broadband, IPTV and VoIP market intelligence firm Point Topic. 

The study claims that though at least 90% of homes in the European Union will have access to broadband speeds of 30 Mbps download speeds or better by 2020, “economics and technology will ensure that, for most people, the fibre will stop some way short of their doorstep.”

“Copper-based broadband technology offers the best solution for providing superfast broadband across most of Europe, for both technical and financial reasons,” said Point Topic’s report, VDSL (Very-high-speed Digital Subscriber Line) in Europe’s Future.

“Point Topic’s research shows that VDSL, also known as FTTC, for fibre-to-the-cabinet, or sometimes FTTC+VDSL, is fully capable of meeting the 30Mbps target. Current VDSL services only partially reach that level. Their offered speeds typically range from 25 to 40Mbps. But vectoring technology, which cuts down electronic interference on VDSL lines, will be soon be doubling VDSL speeds, starting in 2014.”

VDSL is technology that introduces extra optical fibre into the telephone network from the exchange to street cabinets. From there on VDSL uses the existing copper telephone wires to carry the broadband signal the remaining distance to the customer’s home or business.