HOUSTON – The mission to accelerate the deployment of superfast fiber connections is making steady progress despite the global economic downturn. According to the FTTH Councils of Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, the number of FTTH/B subscribers grew by 15 percent in the first six months of 2009, with more than 5.5 million new subscribers added worldwide.

At the end of June 2009, 21 economies had more than 1 percent of households connected with fiber, and all the top 10 economies in the global ranking have more than 5 percent of their households connected. The Asia-Pacific region still leads the global ranking with South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan taking the first four places, followed by the Nordic countries of Sweden and Norway.

The top three global economies in terms of the total number of new subscribers are China, Japan and the United States. With nearly 800,000 FTTH/B subscribers added in the first six months of this year, the U.S. maintained its position among the top 10 FTTH/B economies worldwide.