Europe trails world on fibre broadband

The number of fixed broadband subscribers worldwide will rise to 501 million at the end of 2014. Of those, about 106 million will subscribe to services delivered via fibre. Fibre broadband subscribers totaled 44 million at the end of 2009.

In 2009, Western Europe had only about two million fibre broadband subscribers - a very low penetration compared to North America and Asia Pacific, although Western European countries are planning to accelerate fibre broadband penetration.

The Asia-Pacific region has the highest fibre broadband penetration, followed by North America. Asia-Pacific represents nearly 84 percent of worldwide fibre broadband subscribers. South Korea and Japan have the highest fibre broadband penetration. NTT is the largest fiber broadband operator with approximately 12 million subscribers.

The number of fixed broadband subscribers totaled more than 422 million at the end of 2009, a 9 percent increase from 2008, according to new market data released by

ABI Research industry analyst Serene Fong notes that: "Broadband penetration continues to increase since more service providers are offering triple-play services and driving down access prices."Among the three broadband technologies, 65 percent of worldwide fixed broadband consumers subscribe to DSL, 25 percent to cable and 11 percent to fibre broadband services.