LONDON – Broadband industry analyst, Point Topic reported yesterday that Britain now has the largest number of broadband users in Europe overtaking France with 9.8 million users. France has 9.7 million users, while Germany has 8.4 million, according to the report.
The UK added 2.8 million high-speed Internet lines in the first three quarters of this year as compared to 2.2 million in France. The increase in numbers was primarily due to competitive prices offered by rivals as well as BT’s pledge to wire 99 percent homes with broadband connections.
But Ponit Topic says that the coming year could see a slowdown in the rate of connections as the NTL and Telewest merger goes ahead, meaning that the two companies would now be in a position to strengthen their customer base effectively.
The report also said that globally there was an increase of 25 percent in broadband connections in the first nine months, which now stood at 190.3 million. The United States continues to be the most wired country in the world with 40.9 million connections. China with 35 million connections occupies the second spot, with Japan and South Korea taking up the next two places.
But Ponit Topic says that big European nations are catching up rapidly with the Asian giants and this trend is set to continue into the next year as well. However, Britain was found to be lagging in the local-loop unbundling (LLU) sector as France had 2.5 million unbundled lines as compared to the UK’s 122,000.