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)
Our Previous coverage of OECD:
- April 2006: Iceland, Broadband’s New King
- October 2006: Denmark, the new (OECD) broadband leader.
- July 2007: In US broadband is really expensive.
- May 2008: US Largest, if not the fastest broadband market.
9 thoughts on “Fiber Broadband Big in Japan & Korea”
“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. ”
This is an odd comment. You don’t achieve higher penetration rates proportional to your population by having a smaller population. There are only so many telecom engineers and so on. Perhaps what you mean is that it’s easier for densely populated countries to achieve a high penetration rate than for sparsely populated countries. That’s true, but then one wonders why you cite Japan and South Korea as being victims of this metric – since both countries are very densely populated. Also, the Nordics are more sparsely populated than the US.
Thinking about it, I can’t think of any way that metric is “unfair” to the US. Simply put, the US just hasn’t invested as much or as wisely as many other countries in their broadband infrastructure.