HK leads world in optical fibre links

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 November, 2007, 12:00am

Hong Kong has overtaken South Korea and Japan to become the world leader in laying optical-fibre cable to homes and area networks, a study has found.

The study, commissioned by the world's three councils on fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in a bid to establish a global ranking for access to optical-fibre communications, has found that 21.2 per cent of homes in Hong Kong were serviced with high-speed optical fibre, mainly used for broadband internet connections.

The rate was almost 10 times that of Denmark's coverage of 2.9 per cent and it also beat South Korea and Japan, which have 19.6 per cent and 16.3 per cent coverage respectively. The mainland has comparable optical fibre coverage of 1 per cent.

An Office of the Telecommunications Authority spokeswoman said she expected more robust wire and optical-fibre development when the mandatory type II interconnection is cancelled by the end of next June. The policy, introduced in 1995, required what was then the sole telecommunications network provider, PCCW-HKT, to lease its lines to other operators.

'We expect more service providers to lay their own networks after the requirement is gone,' the spokeswoman said.

'Then the public will be provided with even more choices and better services.'

The latest annual review by the authority has shown that 79 per cent of the 2.5 million households in Hong Kong have a choice of at least two telecommunications providers, while 55 per cent can choose from at least three.

This is an overall rise of around 3.5 per cent from a year ago.