In Japan and South Korea, fiber-based consumer broadband connections now represent the most popular Internet access technology, ahead of DSL and cable, according to a report issued by OECD earlier today. Around 45 percent of connections in Japan use fiber, while in Korea that number is around 39 percent — about 12.2 per 100 inhabitants.
In 30 OECD countries, DSL is still the most popular technology, with a 60 percent market share, but fiber is growing fast and now accounts for about 9 percent (or roughly 23 million) of the total 251 million broadband subscribers in OCED countries at the end of June 2008. Nineteen percent and 18 percent of subscribers in Sweden and Slovak Republic get access via broadband. In Denmark and Norway, 9 and 8 percent of connections are over fiber, respectively.
In comparison, about 3 percent of U.S. subscribers get their broadband via fiber, many of them customers of Verizon. With more than 75 million broadband subscribers, the U.S. still remains the largest broadband country. The OECD has seen a 14 percent gain in the total number of broadband subscribers since it issued a report in 2007.
If you use the broadband-subscribers-per-100-inhabitants metric, more popularly known as broadband penetration, then Denmark leads the rankings with 36.7, followed by Netherlands (35.5), Norway (33.4), Switzerland (32.7), Iceland (32.2), and Sweden (32.3). The broadband penetration number is a bit unfair, because many of the OECD countries are small and have much fewer total number of connections in comparison to larger markets and, as a result, achieve higher penetration rates more easily.
For instance, South Korea (31.2), U.S. (25) and Japan (23) rank at 7, 15, and 17 respectively, even though they have many more broadband connections than the top-ranked countries by penetration. (see chart)
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