OECD Press Release

The number of broadband subscriber in the OECD reached 235 million by December 2007, an increase of 18% from 200 million subscribers in December 2006. This growth increased broadband penetration rates to 20.0 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants up from 16.9 in December 2006.

  • Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Korea and Sweden lead the OECD with broadband penetration well above the OECD average, each surpassing the 30 subscribers per 100 inhabitants threshold.

  • The strongest per-capita subscriber growth over the year was in Luxembourg, Germany and Ireland. Each country added more than 5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants during the past year. On average, the OECD area increased 3 subscribers per 100 inhabitants over the year.

  • The upgrade to fibre-based connections continues in the OECD. Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and Fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) subscriptions comprise 8% of all broadband connections in the OECD. Fiber connections account for 40% of all Japanese broadband subscriptions and 34% in Korea.

  • The United States is the largest broadband market in the OECD with 69.9 million subscribers. US broadband subscribers represent 30% of all broadband connections in the OECD.

OECD points to weaknesses in broadband development and identifies emerging policy issues.

The OECD is also releasing a new Broadband report (Main findings / Full report) which examines the evolution of broadband since 2004 and the national broadband plans of all OECD member countries. The report highlights the significant progress that has been made in the development of broadband across the OECD countries, notably and the progress that has been made in extending broadband to rural and remote areas as well as in connecting schools, libraries and other public institutions. The report also examines areas of weakness and examples of innovative policies from countries.

Looking ahead, the report notes that:

  • Governments need to promote competition and give consumers more choices. They should encourage new networks, particularly upgrades to fibre-optic lines.

  • Governments providing money to fund broadband rollouts should avoid creating new monopolies. Any new infrastructure built using government funds should be open access – meaning that access to that network is provided on non-discriminatory terms to other market participants.

  • Governments should discourage harmful business conduct and practices such as misleading advertising and unjustifiably long consumer lock-in periods.
  • OECD firms and governments need to do more to realise the full potential of broadband and move beyond pilot projects for pressing social issues in areas such as health, transport and the environment.

  • The strengthening of broadband research networks (grids), their use for collaborative research and related international cooperation should be a policy priority.

  • Governments need to actively monitor and quantify their own progress with their broadband plans and adjust policies and attention accordingly.
Ministers will address these policy issues at the forthcoming OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy (17-18 June 2008 in Seoul, Korea).

For further information, journalists should contact Taylor Reynolds (+33 1 45 24 9384) and/or Sacha Wunsch-Vincent (+33 614943838) of the OECD’s Information and Communications Policy division.

Data and charts available at: http://www.oecd.org/sti/ict/broadband


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