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Australia tops OECD mobile broadband penetration, fibre lags

Australia has topped the list of OECD countries when it comes to mobile broadband subscriptions per capita.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Australians' love of mobile broadband has seen it rise to the top of the list of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries when it comes to the number of mobile broadband subscriptions per capita.

The latest statistics to come from the OECD released overnight showed that as of June 2013, there were 25.94 million mobile broadband subscriptions in Australia, with a 114 percent penetration rate. Australia beat out Finland, Sweden, Japan, Korea, Denmark, and the United States for the top spot.

The US topped the total number of subscribers, at 299.45 million, followed by Japan, at 134.3 million, Korea, at 51.45 million, and the UK, at 50.86 million.

Australia doesn't fare as well when it comes to fixed-line broadband connections per 100 residents, however, tying at 18th in the list of OECD countries with Austria, at 25.6 percent penetration rate. The growth in penetration for fixed broadband was only slightly over 1 percent for the year between June 2012 and June 2013.

Switzerland topped the list for fixed broadband penetration, at with 43.8 connections per 100 residents, followed by the Netherlands, Denmark, Korea, and France.

While the future of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) remains unclear, with the Coalition government considering the options put forward in the NBN Co strategic review released last year, the OECD statistics reveal that Australia is currently sitting at 25th in the rankings for the percentage of connections via fibre to the home or fibre to the building.

Just 1.97 percent of Australians connecting to fixed broadband were connecting via fibre as of June last year, but the OECD showed that Australia was recording some of the strongest growth for fibre connections in the OECD, with 121.5 percent growth between June 2012 and June 2013.

Japan topped the list for fibre penetration, with 68.45 percent accessing fixed broadband via fibre, followed by Korea, at 62.76 percent, then Sweden and Estonia.

The United States reported a 7.73 percent penetration rate for fibre, while the UK reported 7.19 percent fibre penetration.

Mexico recorded the highest growth in fibre subscriptions, at 289.7 percent for the year, but reported that just 4.73 percent of its fixed broadband subscriptions were through fibre.

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