Broadband and telecom

OECD broadband statistics update


OECD – Paris, 21 July 2022

Fibre overtakes cable as the primary fixed broadband technology in OECD countries

High-speed fibre internet has for the first time overtaken cable to become the primary fixed broadband technology across the OECD’s 38 member countries with 34.9% of fixed broadband subscriptions, according to the latest data.


The latest update of the OECD broadband portal shows that fibre subscriptions increased by 18.6% over the year to December 2021 to move ahead of cable, now at 32.4% of fixed broadband subscriptions, and DSL at 27% and declining. This is good news for the delivery of data-intense services and applications, given the symmetrical capacity that fibre offers. The biggest growth was in Costa Rica, Israel, Greece and Belgium which all increased fibre connections by more than 80% in 2021. The share of fibre in total broadband is now at 50% or above in 13 OECD countries, standing above 50% in Chile, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, and Portugal, and above 70% in Iceland, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden.



Fixed broadband subscriptions continue to grow in almost all OECD countries, increasing by 3.9% across the OECD area in 2021 to total 472 million, up from 454 million in December 2020, to average 34.4 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the OECD. Switzerland led the pack with a penetration rate of 48.4 subscriptions per 100 people, followed by France (46%), Norway (45%), and Denmark (45%).


Mobile data usage per subscription rose by 15% in 2021, less than in 2020, but still making a rise of 79% over the three years to end-2021. The amount of data consumed averages 8.4 GB per OECD subscription per month but varies greatly by country. Finland leads the way with 36.7 GB per month per subscription, followed by Latvia (29.7 GB) and Austria (26.4 GB) while monthly averages in Mexico and the Slovak Republic are just below 4 GB.    


Despite the very high penetration of mobile broadband subscriptions, 2021 still saw significant growth of 5.5%. Mobile broadband penetration is highest in Japan, Estonia, the United States and Finland, with subscriptions per 100 inhabitants at 191%, 180%, 169% and 157%, respectively.


Iceland is by far the leader in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications with 317 M2M SIM cards per 100 inhabitants. The high number is driven by Vodafone Iceland’s provision of M2M subscriptions to help international pharmaceutical companies distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Sweden, Austria, Norway, and Germany also rank highly in terms of M2M SIM cards per head. Sweden’s 191 M2M SIM cards per 100 inhabitants is boosted by the use of these SIM cards in other countries by a Swedish operator. Overall, M2M/integrated mobile cellular subscriptions have increased by more than 16% (58 million new subscriptions) over the past year in the countries for which data were available.


Download broadband data, charts and penetration maps by country at


For further information, or to request an interview with one of our experts, please contact Catherine Bremer in the OECD Media Office (+33 1 45 24 80 97).


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