The Digital Agenda’s goals for fast broadband coverage are rapidly realised with the help of the cable industry, according to new findings by Solon Management Consultancy. The report, commissioned by Cable Europe, found clear evidence that the cable industry is already covering 50 per cent of EU households with 10Mbps and up to 100Mbps and higher. According to these findings, by 2013, 51 per cent of EU households will be reached by speeds of 30 Mbps. Cable operators have kicked off a speed race throughout the EU with speeds of 100 Mbps or more. The findings also point to new affordability comparisons where cable consumers win out in price per megabit per second compared to incumbent competitors in the European market.
“We met… with Commissioner Kroes to show our contributions to the Digital Agenda – not just talk about them. These findings confirm that cable is punching above its weight. The numbers also show cable’s stimulating effect on the market. Where you see cable, you see more innovation and competition from the incumbents too,” says Manuel Kohnstamm, President of Cable Europe. “We’re looking at a bright digital future as by 2020 at least 27 million European households are expected to subscribe to cable connections over 100Mbps which is a terrific figure if you look at our relative size”.
The findings suggest that cable companies across Europe could be delivering ultra high speed fibre-powered cable offerings of 100Mbps or higher to 51 million households by 2020 under a best case scenario, underscoring the sector’s contender position in the challenge to help reach Digital Agenda goals laid out by EU decision makers.
“The bottom line is that there is no need for public spending where you see cable’s presence. There is an adequate mix of technologies busy at work on the Digital Agenda and we want these findings to remind decision makers that using public funds in cable’s European footprint with active competition is a risky use of public funds, but in remote areas there is a good case to make” comments Cable Europe’s Managing Director, Caroline Van Weede. “Markets with cable-driven infrastructure competition see broadband penetration rates that are over 30 per cent higher than the markets stuck focusing on service competition.”
The Solon report also demonstrates that cable’s hybrid fibre coaxial networks are rolling out speeds that keep Europeans at the top of the curve for ultra-fast broadband access while maintaining competitive pricing and affordability. Cable operators have taken a lead role in reducing broadband access costs by opting for more attractive price-value propositions than their DSL peers and, particularly, the incumbent, says Solon. In most markets, cable operators, offer either higher speed levels at the market price or promote speed packages at lower prices. By 2008, the average cable operators’ broadband costs per Kbps were only 36 per cent of their 2006 costs, while DSL players only halved their costs.