Iceland loves broadband even more than South Korea

Iceland edged ahead of South Korea in broadband usage, according to the OECD.

The Internet connects people and maybe that explains why one of the world's most remote countries, Iceland, has edged ahead of South Koreans in broadband usage, according to a survey published Tuesday.

Iceland topped the global ranking of high-speed Internet connections compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with 26.7 subscribers per 100 inhabitants, or 26.7 penetration, at the end of 2005.

South Korea dropped to second place at 25.4 percent, followed by the Netherlands at 25.3 percent and Denmark at 25 percent.

The findings underscore growing European demand for high-speed Internet connectivity, with Finland (22.5 percent), Norway (21.9 percent), Sweden (20.3 percent) and Belgium (18.3 percent) also ranked among the OECD's ten most-penetrated broadband markets. Each country added more than six subscribers per 100 inhabitants in 2005. Australia was ranked 17th with 13.8 percent.

The U.S. had the largest number of broadband subscribers in the OECD at 49 million. Broadband subscribers in the country represent 31 percent of all broadband connections in the OECD.

Japan led the OECD in fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) with 4.6 million subscribers at the end of 2005. Fiber subscribers in Japan outnumber total broadband subscribers in 21 of the 30 OECD countries.

The number of broadband subscribers in the OECD continued to increase during 2005 to 158 million in December from 136 million in June.

Broadband penetration in the OECD held steady at 15 percent in the second half of the year, reaching 13.6 subscribers per 100 inhabitants in December.

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John Blau

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