EC publishes report on broadband in Europe

On 18 November, the European Commission (EC) released the report of the Communications Committee (COCOM) on trends in broadband in Europe, which shows that despite the economic slowdown, this type of Internet connection continued to grow at an average rate of 10.7 per cent (between July 2008 and July 2009). Portugal recorded growth of 11.7 per cent, higher than in 2008 and above the European average.

On 1 July 2009, there were about 120 million broadband fixed lines in the European Union (EU); 11.5 million of these installed since July 2008. The broadband penetration rate stood at 23.9 percent (21.6 percent in 2008), of which broadband mobile made up 4.2 percentage points, growing by 54 percent in the first six months of 2009. In addition, mobile broadband access services can be seen gaining market share, with notable penetration rates reported in Austria (13.8 percent), Sweden (12.6 percent), Portugal (10.8 percent) and Ireland (8.3 percent). However, the dominant technology in the EU remains DSL, with 94 million lines. Fibre optic to the home rose by 40 percent (July 2008 to July 2009), but still only represents 1.75 percent of all connections.

According to the COCOM report, 80 percent of broadband connections in the EU provide access speeds above 2 Mbps, 65 percent were between 2 and 10 Mbps and 15 percent provided speeds above 10 Mbps. The countries of northern Europe continue to lead the broadband market in terms of penetration rate, with the Netherlands (37.9 percent) and Denmark (37.2 percent) being world leaders. These countries are followed by Sweden (32.5 percent), Luxembourg (31.2 percent), Finland (30.5%), Germany (29.4 percent), France (29.2 percent ) and the United Kingdom (28.8 percent).

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