The latest survey of Dark Fiber in Europe reveals a much expanded market with an increase of 45% in capacity available since 2015, more M&A activity in this asset class, and wide variation in services and availability across the 25 countries surveyed in the report.
The new report, Dark Fiber Europe IV, researched by BroadGroup, reveals that dark fiber growth is being driven by a mix of wholesale product availability by forward looking telcos, 4G mobile demand, data center campus requirements and regulatory push in part responsible for national telecom providers opening commercial availability.
Despite more than half of the installed base being controlled by telcos, the balance is operated by other players including utilities, municipal authorities, specialist players and new entrants. Research for the report records 50 more players than the previous 2015 study.
Some of the largest networks in terms of route km include Turkey followed by Sweden. Nordic markets collectively operate more than 34% of all dark fiber route km across the 25 markets included in the study.
European regulators are encouraging incumbent players to unbundle their high-speed fiber networks, by offering a dark fiber product which can be purchased by other telecom and mobile network companies. The report suggests that reaction has been slow.
“Clearly regarded as a valuable asset, telcos have typically prevented the commoditization of dark fiber by rationing capacity across specific customers,” commented Philip Low of BroadGroup. “It remains to be seen now whether demand factors and regulatory action will prompt more dark fiber capacity availability across national markets.”
The report provides a country assessment for each of the 25 covered, of capacity together with player profiles and pricing examples.