Bulgaria leads the EU in broadband penetration growth with an annual growth rate of over 228%. The closest competitor, the Czech Republic is 40 percentage points behind at 181.8%. For overall uptake, Denmark and the Netherlands came in a virtual tie for the European broadband penetration crown at 37.1%. With its faster growth rate, the Netherlands is poised to pass Denmark to have the highest broadband penetration in Europe.
The popularity of Apple’s streaming media players is rapidly approaching Microsoft’s. According to a recent survey of streaming media usage, the market share of Apple’s iTunes and QuickTime players grew from 32% in January 2008 to 36.4% in January 2009, while Microsoft’s Media Player was unchanged at 50.7%. Most of this gain was due to the increasing popularity of iTunes. Meanwhile broadband lines grew by 20% to 110.5 million lines in Europe over the past year. In the US, broadband growth slowed to its lowest level in seven years, while penetration crept up to 59% overall.
Faster than any other consumer technology, broadband achieved more than 50% adoption according to Pew Internet. Iceland leads the EU27 in household broadband penetration, according to a survey by EUROSTAT. Among active Internet users, broadband grew to 86.3% in November 2007.
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.