Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Europe - COCOM report on broadband found 95.7% of EU homes are already passed by at least one fixed broadband network

The European Commission has published a report on broadband as at July 2012.
  • 95.7% of EU homes are already passed by at least one fixed broadband network. 9.1 million homes still do not have fixed broadband coverage, more than 90% of which are in rural areas. Looking at wireless technologies, HSPA is available to 94.9%, while high capacity KA-band satellite broadband has full coverage in all but four EU Member States. This means the EU is close to achieve the target of 100% coverage of at least basic quality of broadband by the end of 2013.
  • Next Generation Access (NGA) technologies capable of providing at least 30 Mbps are available to half of EU homes. This means we are halfway to achieve the objective of making at least 30 Mbps broadband available to all homes by 2020. At the same time, 35 million out of the 40 million rural homes are still waiting for NGA to arrive. Cable Docsis 3.0 is the most widespread NGA technology, covering 36.6% of homes at the end of 2011.
  • Only 2.5% of lines (about 2% of homes) feature speeds of 100 Mbps or above, as opposed to the Digital Agenda target of 50% of European households subscribing to at least 100 Mbps in 2020. For the first time, more than half of all EU fixed broadband lines provide speeds equal to or higher than 10 Mbps.
  • There are six EU Member States (Belgium, Cyprus, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the UK and Malta), where all households have access to at least basic broadband. NGA is the most widespread in the Netherlands, Malta and Belgium.
  • Fixed broadband take-up (lines as a percentage of population) grew only by 0.5 percentage points and reached 28.2% in July 2012.
  • The Netherlands (39.3%), Denmark (39.1%), France (35.8%) and Germany (33.9%) have the highest penetration rates of fixed broadband. On the other hand, there are four Member States below 20%: Romania (16%), Bulgaria (17.7%), Slovakia (18.5%) and Poland (19.2%). The highest increase in take-up over the last twelve months was recorded in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Czech Republic.
  • As for competition on the fixed broadband market, the market share of incumbent operators stood at 42.6% in July 2012 as opposed to 43.5% a year ago. New entrants had 77.4% of all net additions in the first half of 2012.
  • DSL remained the most common broadband technology with a market share of 74.6% in the EU in July 2012. The share of this technology has been decreasing slightly (by 6.2 p.p. since January 2006). Cable modem is the second most common fixed broadband technology with a stable market share of 17% in the EU.
  • Next Generation Access technologies still have a low share in fixed broadband lines. Despite a coverage of 50.1% of all households, only 16% of EU fixed broadband lines are NGA. NGA is most widely used in the Netherlands, Belgium and Malta, and remains marginal in Greece, Cyprus and Italy.
  • Broadband connections are getting faster, but ultrafast internet access is still rare in the EU. Looking at headline speeds, only 12.1% of fixed broadband lines were at least 30 Mbps in July 2012, which corresponds to about 8% of homes.
  • Mobile broadband has been the fastest growing segment in the broadband market, although growth has slowed down in the last six months. The penetration of large screen mobile broadband subscriptions (using dedicated data cards or USB modems) increased to 8.8% (measured as mobile broadband SIM cards as a percentage of population) by July 2012. Looking at all active mobile broadband users (including smart phone users, too), mobile broadband penetration reached 47.8% in July 2012.
  • There are more and more public funding schemes supporting broadband rollout in Europe. In 2012, the European Commission took 21 decisions regarding broadband projects involving public funding. The total amount of broadband State aid approved in 2012 was approximately € 6.5 bn, which is more than three times higher than a year earlier.
Speeds across the EU varied considerably (see figure), with the UK having a respectable percentage over 10 Mbps.

However, it performed less well in the assessment of the higher speeds.

The figures for mobile broadband are, once again, reasonable.

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