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.
Despite leading the world in broadband subscribers, the US dropped from 17th to 20th place in broadband penetration over the past year (see Figures 1 & 2). Due to its slower growth rate the US fell behind Sweden, the UK, and even tiny Luxembourg in broadband uptake from March 2005 to March 2006, according to Point Topic. Meanwhile, US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew 1.34 percentage points to 73.1% in June 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.
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.
UK broadband penetration passed the US on a per-capita basis in August 2005. The US continued its fall to 13th place among all OECD countries, according to our extrapolation of OECD survey data and Point Topic. However, the US leads all countries in total broadband subscribers, with twice that of Japan. Finland, the Netherlands, and Norway lead the pack in broadband penetration growth. US Broadband penetration climbed to 62.46% in September 2005, up 1.14 percentage points from 61.32% in August.
Broadband penetration in the US broke 60% for the first time in August. In August 2005, U.S. broadband penetration jumped 1.4 percentage points to 61.32% among active Internet users. According to a recent study however, broadband growth in the US is slowing down. Meanwhile, 74.5% of wired Britons enjoy a broadband connection at home.
In Britain, broadband penetration is a tale of haves and have-nots. Just as we found in Europe, relatively young and affluent areas have higher broadband penetration rates than older, less affluent constituencies. Does Labour beat the Tory party in the race for broadband supremacy? In April, U.S. broadband penetration jumped by 1.42 percentage points to 58.46% among active Internet users. At its recent growth rate, broadband penetration in the U.S. should break 60% by July 2005 at the latest.
Worldwide, broadband penetration has reached 62% among Internet users, according to the “Face of the Web” survey by Ipsos-Insight. The annual survey found that while broadband penetration grew by 24% last year, narrowband connections still dominate many rural areas in Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil, France and the U.K. In February, broadband penetration among active Internet users in the U.S. grew by 0.55 percentage points to 56.29%. Narrowband penetration in US homes fell to 43.71% in February 2005.
The number of broadband users in U.S. homes increased by 35.9% in 2004. The growth of broadband users in the home outpaced the growth at work by 14.5%. In December, broadband penetration among active Internet users in the U.S. grew by 1.1 percentage points to 54.69%. 45.31% of US home users dial into the Internet with “narrowband” connections of 56Kbps or less.
Overall, broadband grew by 1.09 percentage points in September, with 40% of US home users enjoying a high-speed connection. 60% of US home users dial into the Internet with “narrowband” connections of 56Kbps or less. Across the pond, Britains endure phone-line splitting by major telcos.