Incumbent telecom service providers typically set the pace of infrastructure investment. However, broadband capabilities sometimes don't keep up with market demand and a stimulus is required.
In the U.S. market that provocation came from the launch of Google Fiber deployments. In the UK market, the government regulator, Ofcom, has provided the catalyst for progress. One of the keys to economic growth in the 21st Century is access to adequate telecom networks.
Raising Expectations for UK Broadband
The UK will outperform other major European countries on a range of fixed telecoms measures for the next five years, and become one of the best performing countries worldwide by 2020, according to the latest market study by Analysys Mason.
The study was commissioned by BT and presents data up to 2014 alongside Analysys Mason's forecast to 2020, marks the UK as the most competitive broadband market of all the countries it features.
"The debate continues to rage over how the UK fares when it comes to broadband speeds, coverage and pricing, and this report shows it is doing very well," said Matt Yardley, partner at Analysys Mason.
The study found that the UK ranks:
- First for superfast broadband coverage: more than 78 percent of premises could access superfast broadband at the end of 2014 in the UK. This compares with 77 percent in Germany, the next best-performing country, and 34 percent in Italy, the worst performing of the big five. Analysys Mason expects that by 2018, more than 95 percent of UK premises will have access to superfast broadband, keeping it ahead of the other large European markets.
- First for superfast broadband take-up: adoption was higher in the UK at the end of 2014 than anywhere else in the big five, at 28 percent of premises. By 2020, Analysys Mason predicts that 78 percent of UK premises will subscribe to superfast broadband, outperforming the big five and even Japan (64 percent) and the USA (69 percent).
- First for the overall competitiveness of the broadband market: based on retail market shares.
- Second for retail broadband prices: supported by the UK's wholesale prices which are between the lowest available and the European average.
Mr. Yardley adds, "The UK consistently outperforms the other four major European countries, and is often competitive against the best-performing countries in the world." That being said, BT has responded to requests for a "radical reform" of telecom policy in the nation.