Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Turkey's fiber infrastructure ranks second in Europe

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The latest reports published by the European Broadband Council show that Turkey has reached an important position in fiber internet. Turkey has made a significant breakthrough in delivering fiber infrastructure to homes on the continent and ranks second after France. According to the latest data highlighted by BT World, fiber infrastructure has reached 18 million households across Turkey. However, interestingly, although we have a large infrastructure that offers these opportunities, our number of subscribers is only 6.5 million, which is only one third of the households.

Details of this situation are supported by the reports of the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK), which are local sources, as well as the European Broadband Council. While BTK reports reveal interesting details about fiber subscription, they also provide clear information about where Turkey stands in the global arena.

Fiber penetration rates in Turkey

Although Turkey has high fiber access numbers, it ranks 24th in Europe in terms of subscriber penetration. Only 25.3 percent subscribe to fiber internet service, lagging behind other European countries. For example, Spain has a 78.9% penetration rate for fiber access and all receive fiber to the home service. In Turkey, the number of subscribers with fiber access to the home is slightly more than 5 million 268 thousand. This amounts to just 8% of total households, pushing Turkey almost to the bottom among 23 European countries.

There may be many reasons why the number of fiber subscribers remains low at 37 percent in households with fiber infrastructure in our country. Although it shows that we have taken a big step forward, the usage rate of these connections and whether this is due to economic reasons are still being discussed. Organizations such as the United Nations and the International Telecom Union warn about the high level of fixed broadband fees and family budget expenses. Economic factors affecting the situation in Turkey may be an important factor in citizens not using fiber internet.

However, the details of BTK reports also reveal the interest and preference of citizens in fiber services that reach the home. While there has been a 27.3 percent increase in the number of FTTH, that is, fiber to the home, subscribers in the last year, there is a decrease in the preference rate of fiber to the building entrance (FTTB). This is an indication that users prefer real fiber service and that interest in these services increases when adequate infrastructure is provided.

When we examine it on the basis of operators, Türk Telekom stands out as the main actor providing FTTH/B infrastructure to 11.4 million households. While it makes its presence felt in the market with 4.1 million subscribers, Turkcell's reach reaches 5.7 million and the number of subscribers reaches approximately 2 million 250 thousand. On the other hand, other operators such as Turknet and Kablonet provide access to a total of 900 thousand households and have approximately 200 thousand paying subscribers.

As a result, this two-faced situation in Turkey's fiber internet infrastructure adventure reveals the gap between potential and reality. Despite this great progress in infrastructure propensity, the lack of full adoption of the existing potential by users becomes an important issue for industry officials and policy makers. It is clearly seen, supported by reports, that more steps need to be taken to expand accessible and affordable fiber internet services, and the importance of fiber infrastructure in Turkey's technological development is once again emphasized.

Danish Kapoor