The US remained at 15th place in broadband penetration worldwide, according to a recent survey by the OECD. While the US led all countries surveyed in total broadband subscribers, it came in 11th place in high speed fiber penetration.
US in 15th Place in Broadband Penetration Worldwide
The US remained in 15th place overall in broadband penetration per 100 inhabitants (see Figure 1). US broadband penetration was 26.4 percent (broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants) as of December 2009, according the a December 2009 survey by the OECD. The Netherlands and Denmark virtually tied for the top spot at 37.1% penetration, while Switzerland jumped ahead of Norway to 35.6% penetration since the last survey in Q2 2009. Korea (33.5%), Iceland (32.8%), Sweden (32.4%), Luxembourg (31.9%), France (30.4%), and Germany (30.3%) rounded out the top 10 countries in broadband penetration rankings worldwide.
Figure 1: Broadband Penetration versus Per Capita GDP, OECD December 2009
Top Broadband Countries Jostle For the Top
Looking at broadband penetration historically, Denmark rose to tie the Netherlands in the fourth quarter of 2009 (see Figure 2). Switzerland, Korea, and Sweden all surged higher in broadband penetartion while the Netherlands, Norway, and Iceland grew at lower rates.
Figure 2: Broadband Penetration Leading Countries, Historical throguh Dec. 2009
US Leads World in Broadband Subscribers
The US leads the world in total broadband subscribers with over 81 million people subscribed to broadband as of December 2009 (see Figure 3). The US has more than 2.5 times the broadband subscribers as Japan at 32 million subscribers. Germany (25M), France (20M), and the UK (18M) round out the top 5 countries surveyed.
Figure 3: Broadband Penetration Leading Countries, Historical throguh Dec. 2009
US 11th in Fiber Penetration
Despite leading the world in total broadband subscribers, the US is 11th overall in fiber penetration (5%) of all broadband subscriptions (see Figure 4). As predicted, Japan leads the world with 54% of broadband subscriptions over fiber, followed by Korea at 49%, the Slovak Republic at 28%, Sweden at 23%, and Norway at 13%. The low penetration of high speed fiber in the US broadband mix helps to explain their 22nd place in broadband speed worldwide.
Figure 4: Percentage of fiber connections in total broadband subscriptions, Dec. 2009
- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development provided the data for the worldwide broadband trends in their Q4 2009 survey.