Ireland fell one rank in the league table of broadband penetration for the 30 mainly developed members of the OECD, according to its latest report on web connections. Ireland ranked 21st at the end of 2008 with 20.57 subscribers per 100 inhabitants. This compared with 17.62 at the end of 2007 and 37.2 in Denmark, the topped ranked country.
Joining Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Korea and Finland maintain their lead the OECD with broadband penetration well above the OECD average, each surpassing the 30 subscribers per 100 inhabitants threshold. There was no change in rankings in the past 6 months among these leading countries.
The upgrade to fibre-based broadband connections continues in the OECD. Fibre subscriptions now comprise 10% of all broadband connections in the OECD (up from 9% in June 2008). Fibre is the dominant connection technology in Korea and Japan and and now accounts for 48% of all Japanese broadband subscriptions and 43% in Korea. Korea has the highest fibre penetration rate at 13.8 fibre subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Ireland's rate is 0.1.
Ireland has a target to be recognised as a "world class knowledge economy" in just four years time -- it will not be met.
In total, Ireland had 896,346 broadband subscribers, placing the country 27th in the league table. Only the Slovak Republic, Luxembourg and Iceland ranked behind on the table.
The United States headed the table with 80 million users.
Separately, as part of what is termed, the OECD’s ongoing response to the economic crisis, a new report was released, which focuses on the role of broadband investment in aiding economic recovery.
The paper argues that policy makers need to evaluate the costs and benefits of any public investment in telecommunication infrastructure and select projects which can stimulate current demand but simultaneously expand the productive capacity of the economy in the longer term. All public investments in telecommunications should balance four key items – connectivity, competition, innovation/growth and social benefit.
OECD Broadband Portal