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Switzerland And Ireland High In OECD Broadband Rankings

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

06 November 2007


Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Korea and Norway and Iceland lead the OECD in broadband penetration, each with over 29 subscribers per 100 inhabitants, according to a new report from the organization released this week.

The strongest per-capita subscriber growth over the year was in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark and Luxembourg. Each country added more than 5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants during the past year.

The release of the June 2007 data on OECD broadband subscribers coincides with the launch of a broadband statistics portal (http://www.oecd.org/sti/ict/broadband) which will contain additional indicators from November 2007. These include: broadband prices; advertised broadband speeds; household broadband usage, the number of households with a home computer; and the number of businesses with broadband connections and company websites.

Over the past year, the number of broadband subscribers in the OECD increased 24% from 178 million in June 2006 to 221 million subscribers in June 2007. This growth increased broadband penetration rates in the OECD from 15.1 in June 2006 to 18.8 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants one year later.

Operators in several countries continue upgrading subscriber lines to fibre. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and Fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) subscriptions now comprise 8% of all broadband connections in the OECD, up from 7% a year ago, and the percentage is growing. Fiber connections account for 36% of all Japanese broadband subscriptions and 31% in Korea.

The United States is the largest broadband market in the OECD with 66.2 million subscribers. US broadband subscribers represent 30% of all broadband connections in the OECD.

The average price of a month broadband subscription in the OECD is USD 49. On average, fibre to the home/building is the most expensive (USD 51) and fixed wireless the cheapest (USD 33). The average price per advertised Mbit/s of connectivity in the OECD is USD 18. Japan, France, Sweden, Korea and Finland have the least expensive offers per Mbit/s. Fibre connections are nearly 5 times less expensive per Mbit/s than DSL, cable or wireless.

The average advertised download speed in the OECD is 13.7 Mbit/s. The fastest average advertised download speeds are in Japan (93 Mbit/s), France (44 Mbit/s), Korea (43 Mbit/s) and Sweden (21 Mbit/s). Japan has the fastest residential download speed available in the OECD at 1 Gbit/s ( 1 Gbit/s = 1000 Mbit/s)

Fibre-to-the-home advertised download speeds in the OECD average 77.1 Mbit/s, much higher than DSL (9.0 Mbit/s), cable (8.6 Mbit/s) or fixed wireless (1.8 Mbit/s). Advertised upload speeds on fibre connections are more than 36 times faster than average advertised upload speeds on DSL, cable or wireless networks.

Explicit bit/data caps are imposed on broadband connections in 20 of the 30 OECD countries. There we no bitcaps among surveyed firms in Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States. All surveyed offers had bitcaps in Australia (48), Belgium (10), Canada (13) and New Zealand (33). The average bit cap size across offers with caps is 21 gigbytes (GB) of traffic per month; once a user reaches the monthly bit cap, the ISP reduces download speeds in 29% of the offers to an average speed of 82 kbit/s. In the remaining 71% of offers, once a user reaches the monthly bit cap they pay an average of USD 0.03 per additional MB (USD 34 per additional GB) until the end of the month.


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