By Mark Jackson, ISPreview UK | July 23rd, 2014
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which covers 34 countries that support democracy and a market economy, has reported that at the end of 2013 the United Kingdom ranked 8th for fixed line broadband penetration (i.e. 35.2 subscribers per 100 inhabitants). Fibre optic (FTTH/P/B) connections also continued to grow.
The fixed broadband penetration figure represents an annual growth of 3.1%, which is to be expected in a market where Internet connectivity has already reached maturity. By comparison Germany saw annual penetration rise by 2%, Italy 0.9%, France 4% and Spain 4.6%.
As usual the slower copper-based DSL (ADSL, SDSL etc.) broadband connections continue to dominate the market, although the UK’s DSL penetration figure of 24.7 per 100 inhabitants represents a reduction from 25.5 recorded six months earlier and most of that has gone to growth via Fibre/LAN services.
Fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants by technology (Dec 2013)
|1||Switzerland||27.9||13.2||3.4||0.3||44.9||3 597 000|
|2||Netherlands||18.6||18.7||3.2||0.0||40.4||6 794 000|
|3||Denmark||20.7||11.5||7.8||0.0||40.0||2 245 593|
|4||France||34.2||2.6||0.8||0.0||37.6||24 751 000|
|5||Korea||3.7||9.6||24.2||0.0||37.5||18 737 125|
|6||Norway||15.7||11.6||9.7||0.0||37.0||1 881 610|
|8||United Kingdom||24.7||6.9||3.7||0.0||35.2||22 559 353|
|9||Germany||28.2||6.2||0.3||0.1||34.8||28 603 463|
|10||Belgium||16.8||17.6||0.0||0.0||34.4||3 819 393|
|11||Canada||13.5||18.8||1.1||0.0||33.5||11 675 481|
|13||Sweden||14.0||6.0||12.4||0.1||32.4||3 113 400|
|14||Finland||18.9||5.8||0.9||5.2||30.8||1 676 400|
|15||New Zealand||28.3||1.5||0.5||0.0||30.2||1 341 846|
|16||United States||9.8||17.3||2.4||0.2||29.8||93 618 000|
|17||Japan||3.7||4.8||19.6||0.0||28.1||35 785 203|
|18||Spain||20.3||4.6||1.4||0.0||26.3||12 080 540|
|19||Greece||26.2||0.0||0.0||0.0||26.2||2 910 074|
|20||Austria||17.6||8.2||0.3||0.0||26.1||2 214 428|
|21||Australia||21.2||4.1||0.7||0.0||26.0||6 009 000|
|23||Israel||16.0||9.1||0.0||0.0||25.1||2 024 000|
|25||Ireland||16.9||7.4||0.1||0.0||24.4||1 121 551|
|26||Portugal||10.5||9.3||4.4||0.0||24.1||2 528 604|
|27||Hungary||8.0||11.6||3.5||0.0||23.1||2 282 133|
|28||Italy||21.7||0.0||0.5||0.1||22.3||13 597 570|
|29||Czech Republic||9.2||4.9||3.3||0.0||17.4||1 826 726|
|30||Poland||7.7||5.7||0.6||1.7||15.6||6 022 651|
|31||Slovak Republic||8.1||2.6||4.9||0.0||15.6||845 997|
|32||Chile||5.5||6.6||0.3||0.5||12.9||2 271 240|
|33||Mexico||8.2||2.4||0.7||0.1||11.4||13 533 448|
|34||Turkey||8.9||0.6||1.6||0.1||11.2||8 382 811|
Interestingly the report also claims that 10.39% of the United Kingdom’s total broadband connections are “fibre“. The OECD defines “fibre” as both all Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP/H) subscriptions at download speeds of greater than 256Kbps and all Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTP) lines (the latter counts only the number of actual subscriptions to the provider, not end users).
As a result of that definition it’s interesting to note that the United Kingdom has the 3rd highest level of fibre growth in the whole OECD, with the annual increase equating to 116.36%. In fairness that’s probably to be expected given the low starting point and doesn’t strictly translate into a lot of actual subscribers, although the 10.39% figure above suggests differently.
We know from practical reports produced by the FTTH Council and Point Topic that in 2013 there were still around 200,000 UK premises within reach of a true fibre optic (FTTP/H/B) connection and even if 100% of those were converted to subscribers it would still only equate to 0.88% of the 22,559,353 total for actual broadband subscriptions. As a result we suspect that the OECD have counted FTTC as pure fibre optic, perhaps due to a misinterpretation of Ofcom’s data, since 10.39% makes more sense when you include hybrid-fibre (FTTC) solutions.
OECD Broadband Stats (Dec 2013)