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UK and Europe Falling Behind on Superfast Broadband Penetration

Posted: 27th May, 2010 By: MarkJ
europe mapThe European Commission (EC) has published its 15th annual report on the Single European Electronic Communications Market (Download PDF), which warns that the UK and Europe are "falling behind when it comes to next generation access". However the UK does better than most for overall broadband penetration and service prices.

Most European broadband lines (not mobile) are currently based on xDSL ( ADSL [8Mbps] ) technologies. Sadly the deployment of higher-capacity broadband is still limited, with about a quarter of lines providing download speeds of more than 10Mbps.

However the report states that Europe is falling behind other parts of the world when it comes to Next Generation Access (NGA). Lines based on Fibre to the Premises ( FTTH / P ), which can deliver download speeds of up to 100Mbps, still only represent between 1.8% and 5% of all fixed broadband lines.

United Kingdom Summary

The UK telecoms market has seen falling prices for consumers and reduced household spending on telecoms services in 2009. In June 2009, the UK Government adopted an ambitious 'Digital Britain' plan. It aims to open new bands of the radio spectrum, ensure universal broadband access at a speed of at least 2 Mbps by 2012 and provide public support to the deployment of NGA networks. As one of the follow-up actions to the ‘Digital Britain’ plan, the UK Parliament adopted the Digital Economy Act in April 2010, which inter alia tackles digital piracy.

Fixed broadband penetration continued to rise throughout 2009, although at a much slower pace, and now stands at 29.8% while mobile broadband penetration is at 6.7%. The UK has one of the largest shares in the EU of fixed broadband lines offering speeds of between 2 to 10 Mbps (78.4%).

On the other hand, the share of high-speed lines above 10Mbps comprise 19.8% of all connections, which is below the EU average of 23.2%. Mobile penetration reached 126.2% in 2009. For the first time, people used their mobile phones more than their fixed lines in 2009.

eu jan2010 broadband penetration

eu jan2010 mobile broadband penetration

The average price we pay to ISPs for our broadband connection in the UK is currently about £13.60 per month, significantly lower then what we paid in 2005 when prices stood at around £23.25.
Download (PDF) - UK Specific EC Report Summary
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