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OECD Ranks UK 9th for Fixed Broadband Penetration out of 34 Countries

Posted Friday, February 8th, 2013 (8:15 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 1,211)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which engages with 34 countries that claim to support a market economy and democracy, has ranked the United Kingdom 9th in its latest fixed line broadband penetration tables to June 2012 (down from 8th a year earlier). But we do poorly in other areas, such as fibre optic uptake.

In terms of fixed broadband penetration (subscribers per 100 inhabitants) it’s Switzerland that comes top with a score of 41.6 (up 2.2% in the year), while the UK trails a few places behind on 33.6 (up 2.3% in the year). By comparison the OECD average is 26.0 and Turkey could be found at the bottom sitting on a score of just 10.4 (up -0.1% in the year).

As usual the USA comes top when the data is re-ordered by total fixed line broadband subscriptions (88,520,000) and this stays the same for wireless broadband subscriptions (237,824,000). By comparison the UK places 5th for fixed line subs (21,066,623) and a respectable 4th for wireless (37,629,000).

oecd fixed broadband subscriptions june 2012
oecd fixed broadband penetration growth June 2012

Overall some 54.8% of all fixed line broadband connections still occur over a standard DSL (e.g. ADSL) based service, while 30.4% happen over a cable link (e.g. Virgin Media) and 14.2% come from the latest generation of superfast fibre optic ISP products (FTTH/B/P).

Sadly the UK scores poorly when it comes to the percentage of superfast fibre connections as a calculation of total broadband subscriptions (2.77%) but perhaps surprisingly this still places us around middle of the table. Meanwhile Japan (64.99%) and South Korea (59.72%) come top thanks to their national FTTH networks.

oecd fibre broadband uptake june 2012

Sadly the OECD won’t release its latest data for broadband speeds, prices and some other areas until later this year but we’ll cover that once it’s published. It’s also worth adding that the OECD defines broadband as being almost any technology that can offer Internet download speeds of at least 256kbps (0.25Mbps).

OECD Broadband Portal

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