U.S. is top market as global b'band jumps


Broadband subscriptions in rich countries reached 235 million by the end of 2007, an increase of 18% from 200 million in 2006, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said.

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 during 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 said 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. (partialdiff)