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Point Topic Release Map of Superfast Broadband Coverage in UK and Europe

Monday, Nov 12th, 2012 (9:06 am) - Score 1,954

Analyst firm Point Topic has released its report into the coverage of superfast broadband (Next Generation Access) services in the EU, which is intended to assess how close Europe is to achieving its Digital Agenda goals. Apparently the EU as a whole is just “half-way towards the goal” of 30Mbps+ for all by 2020.

The EU Digital Agenda project aims to deliver “basic” (0.5-4Mbps) and “competitively-priced” broadband internet access to all Europeans by 2013. On top of that it also aims for everybody within the EU to have access to superfast broadband speeds of 30Mbps+ by 2020 (with 50% or more households subscribing to 100Mbps+).

The results (based on 2011 data) show that the European Union already has standard broadband (DSL etc.) available for the great majority of homes (95.7% – over 200 million altogether), yet coverage of fixed-line superfast NGA services sits at just 50.2% (105 million homes). The gap is typically larger in rural areas; 78% of rural EU homes have access to standard broadband but only 12% (5 million) have NGA available.

eu superfast broadband nga coverage

Meanwhile the coverage of NGA services in the United Kingdom sits roughly in the middle group of countries, which suggests that we’re not quite “lagging behind Europe” as some people often assume but could still be doing a lot better. This should improve next year when the UK’s publicly funded superfast broadband roll-out really starts to get underway.

eu total nga broadband coverage

As far as individual technologies are concerned, the research shows that DSL (ADSL, SDSL etc.) is by far the “most important” fixed line broadband ISP technology in Europe today, with 92% coverage of households.

Standard cable (e.g. Virgin Media / EuroDOCSIS3) comes next with 42% coverage, yet these add “relatively little extra coverage” because they are overwhelmingly concentrated in relatively densely-populated urban and semi-urban areas and generally overlapped by DSL.

Few will be surprised to find that the coverage of true “ultra-fast” fibre optic (FTTH / P) broadband services remains somewhat low and barely registers in the UK. As usual the four countries with the highest FTTP coverage, ranging from 44% to 61%, are all in Eastern Europe.

Take note that in the coverage list below VDSL is the same as FTTC in the UK.

eu broadband coverage by technology

Generally speaking the progress, at least in terms of NGA service, could do with being improved and a series of new measures are already being developed within the UK and EU to do just that (e.g. relaxing planning permissions). But at the same time this is only a first report and we’ll have to wait until next year to see what kind of individual NGA coverage growth has occurred for each country.

Broadband Coverage in Europe (2011)

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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