3 million new households gained access to broadband — including mobile and fixed broadband — in 2014, bringing the total to more than 216 million across the EU, according to a report released today by the European Commission.
“In the past year, we have seen LTE coverage across the EU increase at a record pace and it was the fastest growing broadband access technology in terms of coverage,” said Alzbeta Fellenbaum, senior analyst at IHS Technology.
LTE coverage in rural areas increased to 27 percent in 2014 from about 15 percent in 2013.
Out of the 31 study countries, 19 countries had fixed broadband coverage levels at or above the EU average of 97 percent in 2014, 27 countries had fixed broadband covering at least 90 percent of their households.
IHS said fixed broadband coverage was highest in Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and lowest in Poland, Slovakia, Estonia and Romania, where it reached between 85 percent and 89 percent of households.
Malta had complete coverage for Next Generation Access (NGA) technologies, followed by Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Denmark, all above 90 percent.
NGA coverage was the fastest growing category in the UK, increasing coverage by 6.8 percentage points to 89 percent of all households; over twenty percentage points above the EU average.
Overall and fixed broadband coverage in France remained above the EU average, both on national and rural level.
NGA coverage, however, remained below the European average despite being the category that grew the most between 2013 and 2014. In 2014, high-speed broadband services were available to 42.6 percent of all French households and 20 percent of rural households.
Overall broadband coverage and fixed broadband coverage in Italy exceeded EU average. Despite NGA coverage increasing by 15.5 percentage points and reaching 36 percent of Italian households, it remained below EU average. In rural areas, fixed broadband coverage increased by 2.8 percentage points to 90.5 percent. Italy did not have rural NGA coverage in 2014.
National coverage reached 81 percent of households and rural NGA coverage passed a third of rural households in Germany.