Broadband and telecom

OECD Broadband Subscriptions Criteria (2010)


A) Fixed (wired) broadband penetration indicator

1. DSL:

a. Includes all DSL lines offering Internet connectivity which are capable of download speeds of at least 256 kbit/s

b. The DSL line is excluded if it is not used for Internet connectivity (e.g. leased lines)

2. Cable:

a. Includes all cable modem subscriptions at download speeds greater than 256 kbit/s

3. Fibre:

a. Includes all fibre-to-the-premises (e.g. house, apartment) subscriptions at download speeds greater than 256 kbit/s

b. Includes all fibre-to-the-building subscriptions (e.g. Apartment LAN) using fibre-to-the-building but Ethernet to end-users. NOTE: This counts only the number of actual subscriptions to the provider, not end users.

4. Other wired:

a. BPL: Includes all broadband over powerline subscriptions with download speeds greater than 256 kbit/s

b. Leased lines: Includes only circuits with Internet connectivity (only connections with speeds faster than 256 kbit/s to end users)

B) Wireless broadband penetration indicator

1. Satellite:

a. Subscriptions with advertised download speeds of at least 256 kbit/s.

2. Terrestrial fixed wireless:

a. Subscriptions with advertised download speeds of at least 256 kbit/s.

3. Terrestrial mobile wireless:

a. Standard mobile subscriptions (only included with active use): Includes mobile subscriptions which advertise data speeds of 256 kbit/s or greater and which have been used to make an Internet data connection via IP in the previous 3 months. To be counted, the subscription must allow access to the greater Internet via HTTP and must have been used to make a data connection using the Internet Protocol in the previous three months. Standard SMS and MMS messaging do not count as an active Internet data connection even if they are delivered via IP.

b. Mobile: Dedicated data subscriptions: Subscriptions to dedicated data services over a mobile network which are purchased separately from voice services either as a stand-alone service (modem/dongle) or as an add-on data package to voice services which requires an additional
subscription. All dedicated mobile data subscriptions with recurring subscription fees are included as “active data subscriptions” regardless of actual use. Pre-paid mobile broadband plans require active use if there is no monthly subscription.

c. Does not include

i. Wi-Fi, except for the rare cases when Wi-Fi is used as the transport technology for a fixed wireless Internet service provider. The lines supporting Wi-Fi hotspots are already counted once in the fixed-broadband subscriptions methodology.


All data are supplied by member governments unless otherwise noted. Data are provided to member governments for verification before publication.

All statistical country comparisons should be undertaken with caution and this advice similarly applies to broadband statistics. There is a breadth of market, regulatory and geographic factors which help determine penetration rates, prices, and speeds. Therefore, it is important that policy makers examine a wide range of broadband indicators when considering key policy decisions.

Broadband subscription penetration rankings tell nothing of the prices that users pay, the advertised speeds of connections, or whether there are restrictive bit/data caps on those lines. Countries doing well in one measure may be weaker in another.

It would also be inappropriate to use small movements within statistics such as the broadband rankings to justify policy success or lack thereof. Small movements in rankings can be the result of improved population estimates, more reliable data sources or seasonal adjustments.

Therefore, comparisons should focus why some countries are at the end, middle or near the top of one or more indicators. Another valid comparison would be highlighting countries which seem to exhibit a trend over an extended period of time. 

Population data used to calculate "per 100 inhabitants" figures are from the OECD statistical database and reflect the official population data from the previous year. The population data are updated to reflect the current year as soon as they are available.
The collection of fibre subscriptions is relatively new and a number of countries do not yet have data available for analysis. A value of "0" is inserted for calculations if no reliable estimation is available.

The wireless broadband penetration methodology is available here. The OECD publishes wireless broadband penetration data for the first time in December 2010 (referred to June 2010). Some countries have not been able to report complete data.






Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Administered Areas
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
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