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European broadband coverage summary for 2011
Tuesday 27 November 2012 13:06:42 by Andrew Ferguson

Point Topic working for DG Connect as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe collated data from all the European countries to produce a definitive summary of where broadband and next generation broadband services stood in 2011 across Europe.

"Despite all the publicity, FTTP doesn’t offer the main route to digital heaven, at least not for the time being. So far FTTP covers only 12% of homes. The biggest providers of superfast service are the cable TV networks which can now reach 37% of EU homes with the up-to-date Docsis 3 standard."

Tim Johnson, Point Topic’s Chief Analyst

Of course back in 2011, the UK figured as a zero percent for FTTP, but as numerous fibre projects in the UK get moving the data for 2012 should be a bit better, fingers crossed getting a 0.1 or 0.2% entry for the current year.

NGA coverage across Europe in 2011
Click image for larger version of infographic

Looking at the European map you can see that in terms of land mass and NGA coverage the UK does not look that different to many other countries. The main exception being the Netherlands, which has led the way with fibre based broadband.

With all large reports it is really only possible to look at a small snippet, but as we know that in the UK NGA coverage in the cities and urban areas has increased significantly in 2012, we will instead look at some of the information from 2011, and compare the UK with its major competitors.

Rural coverage by technology for each country in 2011
Countries DSL VDSL FTTP WiMAX Standard cable Docsis 3 cable HSPA LTE Sat
France 96.3% 0% 0.3% 0% 39.9% 28.2% 87% 0% 100%
Germany 51.4% 0% 0% 11.5% 2% 2% 30.7% 41% 100%
Spain 90.1% 12.6% 0.4% 7% 0.4% 0.4% 88% 0% 100%
Sweden 84.4% 7.2% 9.4% 0.1% 1.7% 1% 98.8% 13.9% 0%
United Kingdom 100% 17.4% 0% 0% 2% 2% 88.5% 0% 100%

Cue the uproar, from those annoyed at seeing the UK listed as having 100% coverage of DSL services. The report covers this issue and highlights the difficulty of comparing countries that have their own ways of defining different services.

"Defining coverage caused more difficulty than defining technology. Considering DSL, for example, in many countries any household in the service area of a DSL-enabled exchange is defined as having DSL coverage. It is not hard to report 100% DSL coverage on this basis. On the other hand, as any country-dweller knows, distance from the exchange is also crucial in determining the speed available on a DSL connection. German statistics recognise this by defining DSL coverage as having a minimum 1Mbps download speed available. The result is that Germany reports relatively low DSL coverage but the figure is more meaningful from the end-user’s point of view."

Extract from report explaining coverage

The country with the highest coverage of FTTP in 2011 for rural areas was Denmark at 12.4%, and shows that while the plans for the final third in the UK are often heavily criticised, it is just not rural areas of the UK that suffer from a digital divide.

So what does the report tell us? Mainly that the EU which has €7 billion to spend on meeting its EU 2020 goals may be half way there, but it still has a lot of work to do and the real question over the next couple of years as commercial roll-outs reach their conclusions across Europe is how will be the money be assigned to each country and the projects managed. It would be very ironic if the UK and its often criticised BDUK model, of a central clearing office with responsibility divested to the local authorities was repeated, with the DG Connect/EU acting like the BDUK and each country effectively becoming the local authority.

Comments

Posted by mervl about 1 year ago
Do they have to settle the EU budget first?
Posted by mikejp about 1 year ago
Point Topic is certainly wrong on DSL in the UK, so can we accept the rest of their table?

It is not "100%". There are STILL (2012) 4 non-ADSL exchanges in the UK, 3 in West Sussex.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Number of lines on those exchanges, means it may be 99.999% coverage then.

Also not the quote we took from the report to highlight their awareness.
Posted by welshwarrior about 1 year ago
Then it should say 99.999% not 100%!

I'm lucky I have up to 24meg where I live but within 10 miles there are 1000s without ADSL at all! The remoteness of where they live coupled with relative poverty will probably mean they won't ever get it either.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Postcode for these 1000's who are not connected to an exchange offering ADSL?
Posted by welshwarrior about 1 year ago
Sorry I didn't make myself clear - they are connected on an ADSL connected exchange but have been told that they are too far to receive ADSL.

I know this from experience as I provide support for a lot of them.
Posted by mikejp about 1 year ago
"Also not the quote we took from the report to highlight their awareness."

No ADSL at all in the exchanges thus "any household in the service area of a DSL-enabled exchange is defined as having DSL coverage." does not apply.

I appreciate that .0001% is almost insignificant - unless you happen to be there!

I take it you don't need post-codes for the 4?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
I think it is three exchanges, Docklands Zone 2 does not serve any PSTN lines
Posted by mikejp about 1 year ago
Fairy Nuff.
Posted by camieabz about 1 year ago
Andrew:

Are there any indicators to suggest that the Netherlands' fibre coverage is benefiting it in commercial terms over other nations?

Or is the 'race to get the fastest, most covered' nation more a panic race to not be left behind?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@camieabz What fibre coverage? In 2011 it was apparently 100% VDSL, and just 12.8% FTTP. Rural areas had 0% FTTP.

High coverage of cable DOCSIS 3 means already a choice of two services for almost everyone.

This report was cold coverage and off top of my head I don't recall noteable benefits beyond the sort of stuff happening in the UK.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
There is a sense one can get that the FTTP or bust lobby group, may be damaging UK reputation when you compare with data from other countries. e.g. in US we are told of big FTTP progress, but you look at its cities of significant size usually, not the cluster of shacks that make up many rural US towns.
Posted by camieabz about 1 year ago
"The main exception being the Netherlands, which has led the way with fibre based broadband."

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Fibre based encompasses both VDSL and FTTP. So the what? was to seek clarification of which form you were referring to.
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