About 80% of European Union households have access to broadband via next-generation access technologies such as VDSL, fiber-to-the-premise and DOCSIS 3.0, a recent report finds.
That number most likely has already grown, since the research is part of the European Commission's "Broadband Coverage in Europe 2017," released June 22. The 80.1% of EU households covered by so-called NGA technologies make up 176 million residences (9.9 million more than in 2016) -- or 79% of EU households, the report by IHS Markit and Point Topic found.
Where high-speed broadband is (and isn't)
Only Malta offers all residents the option of high-speed broadband connectivity, the report found. But Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Iceland and Portugal accomplished country levels above 95%, researchers determined.
On the flip side, at 49.6% Greece had the least proportion of residential customers covered by NGA networks, the EU study said. Other nations that ranked poorly included Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Poland and France, all of which covered less than 75% of households with NGA networks by the end of July 2017.
Malta had about nine commercial broadband providers, a number that decreased in late 2017 when Vodafone Malta merged with Melita, Malta’s leading cable, broadband and pay-TV provider, with a network covering 99% of Maltese households.
On the other hand, Slovenia uses a mix of government and private operators to make NGA networks available to 83.2% of households -- including 53.9% of rural residences, according to the IHS Markit and Point Topic report. The government's Slovenia 2020 initiative expects 96% of homes to have access to 100Mbit/s and the remainder to be able to avail themselves of 30Mb/s by 2020, the EU report said.
For its part, this month, Slovenia's broadband providers must meet a "universal services obligation" -- a minimal package of services made accessible to all users across the country at the same price, regardless of cost to the operator, Slovenia Times reported. Even if it is unprofitable commercial providers must deliver 4Mbit/s download speeds, the newspaper said, regarding a mandate by the country's Agency for Communication Networks and Services (AKOS).
Designed to help Slovenia close its digital divide, the government originally wanted 10Mbit/s speeds but providers rallied against that requirement, an official told the local paper. In light of Slovenian homes' widespread access to slower broadband -- via mobile, satellite, older DSL or cable infrastructure -- this universal mandate appears the first step in an upgrade or replacement program ultimately designed to help the Eastern European nation attain its 2020 vision.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.