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European broadband statistics show speeds on the rise
Friday 26 November 2010 12:14:14 by John Hunt

Broadband speeds are on the rise across Europe according to statistics published today by the European Commission. As of July 2010, 29% of EU citizens had a broadband line speed of at least 10Mbps, up from 15% a year ago, and penetration is also slowly on the rise at 25.6 subscriptions per 100 citizens. With only a quarter having a broadband service, there is still a long way to go to reach the European target of 100% access to broadband by 2013.

87% of broadband lines are now above 2Mbps (81% a year ago) but those in the higher-speed categories are much lower. 4.4% have a broadband line equal or above 30Mbps whilst only 0.5% have one equal to or above 100Mbps. Comparing these European average figures to the UK is a little depressing. 97.2% of all UK are below 30Mbps, with only 2.8% above 30Mbps and unsurprisingly, 0% at 100Mbps or above.

"Fast broadband is digital oxygen, essential for Europe's prosperity and well-being. Take up and available speeds are improving, but we need to do more to reach our very fast broadband targets. In particular, we need urgent agreement on our proposal to ensure radio spectrum is available for mobile broadband, for which demand is growing very fast."

Neelie Kroes, (Vice-President for the Digital Agenda) European Commission

The high-speed leaders in Europe are Romania and Belgium with 43% and 26% of all broadband lines being over 30Mbps respectively. Other European countries such as Bulgaria, Lithuania, Sweden and Slovakia also have high numbers in this speed category. Romania and Bulgaria are at a bit of an advantage in roll-out as they don't have the legacy infrastructure in place which means they can go straight to installing faster services such as fibre without trying to milk the existing network for everything that it is worth.

The fixed-line technology market share helps to show this split across Europe and the UK comes equal last (along with France and Greece) in the use of other technologies (like fibre) with 0% usage. The below graph uses blue to represent DSL, orange cable, and green Other.

Mobile broadband is the biggest grower with Europe wide penetration of data card / USB modems at 6.1% (a rise from 5.2%). Finland tops penetration with a massive 21.5% compared with the next largest, Austria, where mobile broadband is seen as a substitute for fixed-broadband, with 16.7%. The UK held out at 6.9%, above the European average. Across all mobile broadband users, the UK saw 17.8 million active lines, second only to Germany who had 19.3 million.

Full details and statistics are available here.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
"Romania and Bulgaria are at a bit of an advantage in roll-out as they don't have the legacy infrastructure in place which means they can go straight to installing faster services such as fibre without trying to milk the existing network for everything that it is worth."
spot on.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
"The high-speed leaders in Europe are Romania and Belgium with 43% and 26% of all broadband lines being over 30Mbps respectively."

What would also be interesting is to see the potential speeds (as opposed to those which have been taken up)

For example, working on the theory that everyone with cable can get 50Mbps (which probably isn't entirely true) then up to 50% of the UK can already get 50Mbps working towards 100Mbps, so in that respect we're not actually *that* bad when viewed overall.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Presumably Romania and Bulgaria also benefit from people willing to actually get on and provide an alternative to their limited fixed line phone coverage.
Posted by jumpmum over 6 years ago
cd- You wouldn't want to live in a rural area in Bulgaria or Romania though as all the fibre is in the cities and the penetration rate is only 13.9%. At least you get some service here even if it isn't as fast as you would like.
Have a look at the detail excel and report before you think the grass is greener.
Posted by jumpmum over 6 years ago
Contd interesting thing is the UK is well up with the leaders at over 30% penetration, highest is 38%.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Actually regulation is what is keeping us on this legacy network and encouraged milking.
Posted by camieabz over 6 years ago
Just curious John. I downloaded the 'Country Charts' spreadsheet, and see that the UK's "Fixed Broadband Lines and Penetration" is at 18,969,191 and this is considered 30.6%...this seems to indicate that lines and penetration is calculated on users, rather than lines in use?

Just curious, since there are approx 25 million households, and it would be probably be interesting to see the household stats.

(Unless that is the household stats and the percentage should be closer to 75%).
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
Rolling out a new fibre network when there isn't any kind of existing network just means more people are willing to shell out the huge cost of implementing the network. It doesn't make it cheaper.

If every household in the UK were willing to share the cost of installing FTTH everywhere I'm sure they'd be a queue of companies lined up to take on the contract.
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