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.
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.
At its current growth rate of over 90% per year, China will pass the US in total broadband subscribers by late 2006 to become the largest broadband country in the world. The US has fallen to 19th overall in household broadband penetration, and is in danger of being passed by Slovenia in early 2007. Israel leads all Middle Eastern and African countries, and is the third country overall in broadband penetration. Hong Kong leads the Pacific Rim, with a broadband penetration rate of over 73%. Meanwhile, in December 2005 the US passed 65% in broadband penetration among active Internet users.