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The Fiber Broadband Future Is Still Coming Soon

European Internet Products Must Target Current-Speed Broadband

December 8, 2010


  • By Ian Fogg
  • with Annie E. Corbett,
  • Mark Mulligan

Why Read This Brief

While every country in Europe has Internet service providers rolling out fiber broadband initiatives, consumers' desire for superfast broadband is lower than their appetite for keen pricing. Given the costs of installing fiber networks, this will slow adoption for the next five years. Product strategies must not assume that superfast broadband will be common any time soon. Products that have to rely on superfast broadband — such as very-high-definition video — should aim at key countries where the market is more advanced; even more importantly, they must offer alternative versions that work on current-generation ADSL broadband wherever possible. This will continue to account for the vast majority of European home Internet connections. Cable providers will enjoy a renaissance in Europe, where they have struggled for years, as their 100 Mbps DOCSIS3 upgrades will enable them to offer existing cable consumers superfast speeds without forcing them to change their provider, which Europeans are reluctant to do. The business cases for fiber broadband must continue to look beyond Internet access to on-demand high-definition TV and other services.

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Table of Contents

  • The Fiber Broadband Landscape Is Patchy
  • The Fiber Future Will Happen More Slowly Than First-Generation Broadband

  • Do Not Create Internet Products That Depend On Superfast Speeds
  • Supplemental Material
  • Related Research Documents