European broadband connections surpass 110 million

Broadband connections across Europe rose by 20% over the year, to a total of 110.5m connections, representing 22.5% of Europe’s population, according to the latest figures from The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA).

The highest penetration rates were recorded in Denmark (37.5%) and Netherlands (36.3%) followed by Sweden, Finland and the UK (with the UK 28.1%) not far behind. Poland came last with a penetration rate of just 10.1%, though Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania are also in the bottom half. Figures are per end of September, 2008.

The highest growth rates over the full year were seen in Greece, Cyprus and Malta. Growth rates began to slow in several of the leading countries including Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and the UK. Incumbents retained 50% of the total retail EU broadband market (including resale) or 45% if resale is excluded.

Most competition in the EU is due to unbundling of the local loop (44% of all lines supplied by competitors), followed by cable and other parallel infrastructures (36%).

Next generation fibre optic broadband penetration was at an average of just 0.3% across Europe. Some countries had significantly higher fibre penetration, including Sweden (5.6% population), Estonia (4.9%) and Lithuania (4.2%).