The UK is bottom of the league for fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections in Europe according to new data from the FTTH Council Europe organisation.
The data, based on connections that run fibre directly to a premise, rather than to nearby cabinets and are then carried the final distance by copper, reveals that the UK has a paltry 0.05 percent of premises connected to FTTH services.
This is so low the UK does not technically rank on the FTTH Council's rankings, as it only measures those with a one percent saturation of FTTH services on its list, leaving the UK in last place.
The organisation's president Karin Ahl said the UK's glacial progress means it was years behind nations such as Japan or South Korea.
"Most Asian countries have already reached maturity and Europe as a whole is expected to do by 2020. But for the UK, based on current trends, it may not be until 2022," she said, noting this was merely an estimate and could even be later.
The organisation went on to criticise the UK government for failing to set a more ambitious rollout schedule for the nation.
"Despite the fact that the government has announced plans to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, the UK is clearly lagging and has no large scale FTTH deployment plans," it said in its report.
"It seems the Broadband Delivery (BDUK) Project has missed the opportunity to bring the country real broadband."
The report will be officially launched next week but was seen ahead of schedule by V3 at a select briefing for press held this week.
Chief executive of analyst firm Point Topic, Oliver Johnson, told V3 that the UK's overall broadband situation was not as bad as the report made out.
"It's great if you have a high penetration of FTTH but in more mature markets, with legacy networks and a lot of cost constraints, FTTC is good compromise to meet the current network requirements people have," he said.
"On this front the UK is not doing badly. We have almost 60 percent able to access speeds of 30Mbit/s from the likes of Virgin Media and this puts us in the mid-table in Europe."
Johnson admitted that in future the UK may find its broadband needs shift again and that FTTC will not prove suitable for all users, but for now given the current financial situation of nations like the UK the plans in place were acceptable.
The government, is putting its faith in its investment strategy for broadband which aims to get 90 percent of the population online with 25Mbit/s or above by 2015, and everyone able to access 2Mbit/s by this date.
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