Australia has slipped below the OECD average for broadband and wireless distribution, with the country recording 24 subscribers per 100 inhabitants, finishing at 21st out of 34.


Switzerland topped the rankings, recording 39.9 subscribers per 100 inhabitants, closely followed by the Netherlands (39.1) and Denmark (37.9), where the OECD average is 25.6.


Fixed wired broadband subscriptions reached 314 million in the OECD area at the end of 2011, although growth slowed to 1.8% in the second half. Year-on-year subscriptions rose by 4.1%. Greece, Poland and Chile experienced the highest growth, of 5%, to reach 21.8, 15.0 and 11.7 respectively.



The OECD found that the overall share of DSL subscriptions continues to decrease, while cable continues to make inroads in the market, with fibre-to-the-home subscriptions now representing 13.7 per cent of the total number of fixed broadband subscriptions.


Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said the figures reinforces the need for the rollout of the National Broadband Network.


“The Gillard Government’s investment in the NBN will ensure Australia is not left behind other developed and emerging economies in the years ahead. It will foster innovation and drive productivity gains, bringing significant benefits to the wider economy,” Senator Conroy said.


“The NBN’s fast, affordable and reliable broadband will help Australia rise up the OECD broadband rankings, even as other OECD countries develop their own super-fast broadband capabilities.


“The rollout of the NBN is gathering pace, with work expected to be underway or completed for over 750,000 premises by the end of the year and 3.5 million homes, businesses, schools and hospitals by 2015,” Senator Conroy said.


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