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European Broadband Nears Saturation

Consumer broadband adoption is currently increasing at its fastest rate in many markets across Western Europe, according to a report published by market analysts Datamonitor. However, the company does not expect this growth to continue for long, and estimates that consumer broadband penetration will ultimately settle at around 60 percent in terms of household penetration in advanced markets.

"The current situation in many markets can be best described as one of rapidly increasing penetration, where broadband has effectively entered its growth sweet spot", said Tim Gower, enterprise communications analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report. "With some markets potentially experiencing changes in the household penetration of broadband of up 10 percent in a calendar year, service providers must be well positioned to take advantage of the forthcoming penetration acceleration, prior to the inevitable slowdown."

Datamonitor's report highlights the current and future state of consumer broadband markets in Western Europe and North America, focusing on the likely service provider revenues in 16 countries. At present, the French, Norwegian and Dutch markets have the highest penetration of DSL in Europe. Effective regulation has encouraged extremely fierce price competition in these markets which has led to rapid consumer uptake. Incumbent operators in Portugal and Ireland, on the other hand, have been less effectively regulated and this situation has led to limited competition, high prices and a slower increase in DSL household penetration.

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