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World wide coverage of DSL services
Wednesday 12 May 2004 09:37:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The recent OECD report on broadband access in rural areas, makes for interesting reading. Each countries section, covers how both the backbone and local access networks have emerged, and the resulting coverage of broadband services. To give a quick idea of where the UK stands with regards to DSL coverage we have re-published extracts from a couple of tables.

Availability of DSL in the OECD area

Country Commercial launch 2001 2003 2004 Indicator
Australia Aug 2000 72 75 - Population
Denmark June 1999 90 95 96 Lines
Germany Aug 1999 70 85 90 Lines
Japan Sept 2000 73.5 90 90 Households
Korea April 1999 70 93 - Households
Netherlands June 2000 67 85 - Lines
Norway Dec 2000 50 65 80 (2005) Lines
Portugal Dec 2000 50 60.7 (2002) - Population
Sweden Oct 2000 70 78 - Lines
UK July 2000 60 85 95 Lines
US 1997 50 75 - Lines
OECD Weighted Average 57.3 77.2 79.2 Lines

Households passed by cable network upgraded for cable modem access

Country Service launch Percentage
Australia Sept 1996 37
Denmark Mar 1999 47
Germany 2001 10
Japan 1999 27
Korea July 1998 57
Netherlands - 79
Norway 1998 28
Portugal Nov 1999 60
Sweden 1999 23
UK Apr 1999 45
US 1997 80
OECD Weighted Average 42

Of course raw numbers mean nothing to those who are out of reach of an affordable broadband service in any of the above countries. The tables do show the progress the United Kingdom has made with regards to DSL coverage though. Another factor hidden by these tables is that Korea who we are close to catching up coverage wise, as of 2002 launched VDSL services of 13Mbps. Though the range of VDSL is only 0.3 to 1.5 kilometres. The basic DSL coverage figures for Korea are helped because 98% of the population live within a 4km radius of existing telephone offices (exchanges), which suggests that coverage of VDSL is going to be much less than the standard ADSL services.

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