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High-speed fiber used for half of fixed Internet in nine OECD countries

March 4, 2020  

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Nine Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries now have high-speed fiber making up 50 per cent or more of their fixed internet connections, according to an update from the OECD. This figure is up from six countries, recorded one year ago.

Across the 37 countries studied, the share of fiber in total broadband has only risen three per cent to 27 per cent, as of June 30, 2019. This reflects the still-wide gap between countries in rolling out fiber, which provides a faster internet experience.

The data shows Lithuania, Latvia, Spain and New Zealand starting to catch up with long-time fibre leaders Korea, Japan and the Nordic countries due to increased competition, good regulation and policy and new infrastructure investment. Korea and Japan have a fiber share of over 75% in total broadband, while Lithuania, Sweden, Latvia, Spain, Iceland, Finland and Norway are all above 50% fibre. New Zealand and Portugal are just below 50% and close to joining the leaders.

In the year to June 30, 2019, the number of fiber subscriptions climbed 13.8 per cent across the 37 countries measured (the 36 OECD countries, plus Columbia, whose accession is imminent).


Cable remains stable with a slight increase of 4.3% in the year to June 30 2019 and accounts for a significant 33.6% of all fixed broadband connections. DSL is increasingly being replaced by fiber and its share has fallen from 41.6% to 35.1% in two years.

Overall country rankings for fixed broadband subscriptions remain very similar to those in the past, with Switzerland in the lead with 46.1 subscriptions per 100 people, followed by France (43.7%), Denmark (43.4%), the Netherlands (43.1%) and Korea (41.9%).

Mobile broadband subscriptions continue to grow strongly at a stable rate of around 7% a year. The countries with the highest penetration rates are Japan, Finland, Estonia, the United States and Australia, with subscriptions per 100 inhabitants at 177%, 155%, 153%, 150% and 144% respectively.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) SIM cards, are experiencing the highest growth of all our indicators with a 30% increase in one year. The leading countries are Sweden with 140.6 M2M SIM cards per 100 inhabitants, followed by Austria, Italy, the United States and the Netherlands. The high number of M2M SIM cards provided by Sweden is due in part to the use of these SIM cards in other countries by a Swedish operator.

The OECD’s broadband statistics cover 37 countries. You can download the underlying data, charts and broadband penetration maps for different countries at