For the first time since cable broadband was introduced in the Netherlands, the number of cable broadband connections saw a quarterly decrease during the second quarter of 2015, according to the latest research from Telecompaper.

The broadband market ended June 2015 with a total 7.026 million mass market connections, growing by 0.3% during the quarter. Broadband via cable connections fell by 0.3% over the same period, leading to a drop in cable’s market share to just over 46%.

The market growth was driven by fibre broadband connections, which increased by almost 5.5% during the second quarter to more than 12% of the market. DSL continued its downward path, with a loss of 0.4% during the quarter to end with almost 41.5% of connections.

Ziggo, the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, reported a net loss of about 11,000 broadband customers during the second quarter to end June 2015 with 46.3% of the broadband market, down by 0.3%. Despite the loss in market share in the most recent quarter, Ziggo is still the largest broadband provider.

Number two KPN (including Telfort, XS4ALL and the Edutel brands) had a market share of 40.4%, after gaining 0.3% during the quarter. The operator added 31,000 broadband customers during the second quarter, driven by growth in fibre connections.

Despite the increasingly saturated market, the researchers expect that the broadband market will grow by 2.3% in 2015. Cable is expected to return to growth in the second half and fibre will continue its gains, offsetting the steady decrease in DSL users. For the period 2015-2019, Telecompaper expects a CAGR of 1.9% per year in the number of broadband connections.

Telecompaper estimates the Dutch broadband market (consumer and SOHO) was worth over EUR 457 million in retail revenue in the second quarter of 2015. The revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.0% over the five-year period 2015-2019.