Broadband increasing in Europe

Denmark outpaces rest of Northern Europe

BRUSSELS -- Broadband subscriptions in rich countries reached 235 million by the end of last year, an increase of 18% from 200 million the year before, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported.

The OECD, the 30-nation think tank and policy group, said this means broadband penetration rates rose to 20% of subscriptions, up from 16.9% at the end of 2006.

Northern Europe dominates the broadband league table: In that territory, Denmark has the highest subscription rate, with 35%, followed by the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway. But the U.S. is the largest broadband market, with 69.9 million subscribers, or 30% of all broadband connections in the OECD.

In a separate report on broadband rollout trends over the past four years, the OECD said governments need to continue to promote competition in the market and give more choice to consumers. The report also says that there should be particular focus on upgrading to fiber optic lines and a greater effort to counter misleading advertising and "unjustifiably long" lock-in periods by service providers.