Published: 10.16 Europe/London, March 29, 2011

European cable operators are meeting goals set under the Digital Agenda for the deployment of high-speed broadband, according to a new report written by Solon Management Consultancy on behalf of Cable Europe.

The report says the cable sector is already serving 50% of EU households at speeds of at least 10 Mbps, and in many cases 100 Mbps or higher.

The research suggests that by 2013, 51% of EU households will be reached by speeds of 30 Mbps.

Prices are also falling within the cable market, with cable companies offering prices below that of their telco competitors, when compared on a price per megabit per second basis.

“We met today with Commissioner Kroes to show our contributions to the Digital Agenda – not just talk about them. These findings confirm that cable is punching above its weight. The numbers also show cable’s stimulating effect on the market. Where you see cable, you see more innovation and competition from the incumbents too,” says Manuel Kohnstamm, president of Cable Europe. “We’re looking at a bright digital future as by 2020 at least 27 million European households are expected to subscribe to cable connections over 100Mbps which is a terrific figure if you look at our relative size”.

Under a best care scenario speeds of 100 Mbps or higher could be receivable in 51 million cable households by 2020.

“The bottom line is that there is no need for public spending where you see cable’s presence. There is an adequate mix of technologies busy at work on the Digital Agenda and we want these findings to remind decision makers that using public funds in cable’s European footprint with active competition is a risky use of public funds, but in remote areas there is a good case to make” comments Cable Europe’s managing director, Caroline Van Weede. “Markets with cable-driven infrastructure competition see broadband penetration rates that are over 30% higher than the markets stuck focusing on service competition.”

According to Solon, cable is either offering either higher speed levels at the market price or promotes speed packages at lower prices. By 2008, the average cable operators’ broadband costs per Kbps were only 36% of their 2006 costs, while DSL players only halved their costs.

The report will be presented in detail at a presentation in Brussels on Tuesday afternoon.