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Belgium leads NGA broadband take-up in EU

Belgium leads NGA broadband take-up in EU

Belgium is the EU country with the highest share of broadband subscribers on next-generation access networks, according to the latest data from the European Commission. Defined as FTTH/B, VDSL, Docsis 3.0 or other fixed technologies offering at least 30 Mbps, NGA networks were used by 77 percent of Belgian broadband subscribers in July 2014, compared to just 27 percent of broadband subscribers across the EU. Romania ranked second with 68 percent on NGA networks, followed by Latvia and Bulgaria at 62 percent, Sweden at 61 percent and the Netherlands at 60 percent. Major countries such as France, Germany and Italy were still well below the EU average, at respectively 10, 20 and 4 percent of users on 30 Mbps or higher.

Across the EU, cable supplied just over half the NGA subscriptions, followed by VDSL with 22 percent, FTTB at 13 percent and FTTH at 11 percent. The expansion of VDSL services has helped incumbent operators expand their share of the NGA market to 28 percent, from just 19 percent two years earlier. If all broadband speeds are included, DSL still accounts for 71 percent of broadband susbcriptions in the EU. Incumbents hold 52.9 percent of the DSL market, down from 54.6 percent two years ago. 

The EU targets access to broadband at 30 Mbps for the entire region’s population by 2020. By the same dat at least 50 percent of broadband users should subscribe to speeds of 100 Mbps or higher. The latest figures show only 7 percent had speeds of 100 Mbps or faster in July 2014, up from 4 percent a year earlier. Penetration was highest in Latvia, at 38 percent. 

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