March 19, 2016
The 13th Progress Report on the Single Telecoms Market, issued by the European Commission, has revealed that 19 million new broadband lines were added in EU countries during 2015, equivalent to more than 50,000 households every day.
Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden are world leaders in the use of broadband, with penetration rates over 30% at the end of 2015. Together with the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, these countries all had broadband penetration rates higher than the 22.1% in the United States recorded in July 2015.
The broadband sector generated estimated revenues of €62bn (£48.7bn) and Europe’s overall penetration reached 20%. In addition, 13% of Europeans now subscribe to a bundled offer with a single bill, 12% include TV in their bundled package, 23% voice telephony, 6% mobile telephony and 24% Internet access.
Incumbent operators hold more than 46% of broadband lines and control more than 60% of broadband connections in seven member states. In Cyprus, Luxembourg and Finland, the incumbent’s broadband market share is higher than 70%.
Access to fixed telephony is still provided to 86.5% of customers over the incumbent’s infrastructure, and to more than 95% in the case of 12 member states. This is either because regulatory changes have yet to be made or to take effect.
Robust price competition in the UK, with strong progress in local loop unbundling, contributed to further broadband penetration. Growth in the UK, although slowing recently, remains above the EU average.