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This article was published on May 22, 2008

    Message to start-ups: Europe is broadband paradise

    Message to start-ups: Europe is broadband paradise
    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    As an European entrepreneur you might be delighted to find that you’re actually living on a continent with a rather impressive broadband penetration. A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that of the fifteen countries with the highest number of broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, twelve are European.

    fiberDenmark is the leading country with 35.1 subscriptions, the Netherlands come in second with 34.8 and Iceland is third with 32.2. Remarkable but true, the United States is only number fifteen of the list with 23.3 subscriptions. The number of broadband connections has been growing 187 percent since 2004 in OECD countries to an average of 20 subscriptions. You can look up all the results in this spreadsheet.

    Nate Anderson from Ars Technica draws an interesting conclusion from OECD’s broadband data. He’s clearly worried about the lack of a broadband plan in the U.S.. He then identifies that “Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland all have lower population densities and yet are managing to beat us in broadband penetration. Come to think of it, all five of them are also quite cold and dark for long periods of time.” So a good way to improve the broadband density in the U.S., says Anderson, “maybe is as simple as cooling the country and blotting out the sun.”

    So while they’re thinking of drastic measures in the U.S., we can rely on the thought that most of our internet users have a fast connection. Always a good thing to know when building a web-based start-up.