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High-speed broadband reached three quarters of homes in Europe in June 2017

Staff Writer |
At the end of June 2017, more than three quarters of homes in the 28 countries in the European Union (EU28) had access to high-speed broadband services.

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For the first time, 4G LTE availability matched 3G HSPA networks, in terms of the number of households covered.

Published tay by the European Commission, the “Broadband Coverage in Europe 2017” study was conducted by business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) and broadband analyst firm, Point Topic.

At the end of June 2017, 176 million EU households had access to broadband delivered by next-generation access networks (VDSL, DOCSIS 3.0 and FTTP), which is 9.9 million households more than at end of June 2017.

By mid-2017, high-speed fixed broadband services with at least 30 megabits-per-second (Mbps) download speeds were available to 79 percent of EU households.

At a national level, 80.1 percent of households had access to NGA broadband, compared to 46.9 percent of rural households. The 33.2 percentage point difference was 3.5 percentage points lower than last year’s study, but the difference remains sizeable.

VDSL remained the most widespread NGA technology in the EU28, passing 53.4 percent of homes. DOCSIS 3.0 networks covered 44.7 percent of EU28 households, with FTTP availability reaching 26.8 percent of homes by mid-2017.

For the first time, 3G HSPA coverage did not exceed 4G LTE coverage in the EU28. Following a 1.9 percentage point increase in LTE availability, both mobile technologies covered 97.9 percent of EU28 households.

As was the case last year, Malta was the only country to record complete coverage for the NGA technology category, while Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Iceland and Portugal recorded coverage levels above 95 percent.

Greece was the lowest-ranked country in terms of the proportion of households covered by NGA networks.

In addition, in Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Poland and France, NGA networks covered less than 75 percent of households, in the first half of 2017.

In terms of FTTP availability, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain led the EU28, with FTTP networks reaching more than 70 percent of households in all four countries.

Operators in these countries have focused on FTTP deployments rather than upgrading existing DSL networks to VDSL.

As a result, VDSL networks reached less than 20 percent of households in all four countries at the end of June 2017.

In contrast, fewer than 3 percent of households in Belgium, Greece and the UK had access to FTTP networks at the end of June 2017.

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