Broadband penetration in the EU is now on par with the US and Japan, according to a bi-annual broadband survey from the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA). ECTA attributes the 16% growth in broadband lines over the last six months to increased competition from new telecom entrants employing local loop unbundling and cable. Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration jumped 1.32 percentage points to 84.75% among active Internet users in August 2007.
The US fell from 23rd to 25th place in worldwide broadband penetration in the last half of 2006, according to a recent survey by Point Topic. OECD data confirms the slowdown, with the US falling to 15th in broadband penetration among OECD countries surveyed. US broadband penetration grew 0.65 percentage points to 80.81% among active Internet users in March.
Users of iTunes grew by 47.5% over the past year, while the other streaming media players had single-digit growth. At current growth rates iTunes users will exceed RealPlayer users by the second quarter of 2007 (see Figure 1). European broadband growth has decreased in recent months. US broadband growth slowed a bit in January, growing by 0.62% percentage points to 79.1% among active Internet users.
The UK passed Japan and the US in broadband penetration in the first quarter of 2006 (see Figure 1). Among G7 countries, only Canada had a higher broadband penetration rate, according to a recent broadband survey by OECD. The UK’s faster growth rate, over twice that of Japan, propelled it past Japan around March of 2006 (see Figure 2). Meanwhile in the US, broadband growth slowed in October, growing only 0.27% percentage points to 76.6% among active Internet users over the past month.
Sixty-four million people now have broadband access across the 25 countries of the European Union – but the gap between the best and worst performers is widening (see Figure 1). Denmark, the Netherlands, and Finland lead the European Union in broadband penetration while Greece, Slovakia, and Poland trail according to a recent broadband survey by ECTA. Back in the US, broadband penetration among active Internet users neared 75% in August 2006.
President Bush’s goal of universal broadband access for all Americans by 2007 appears to be overly optimistic, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The GAO study found that only 28% of Americans had broadband in 2005.