According to a study published by the OECD, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a rapid growth of fibre-internet subscriptions, outnumbering copper-wire DSL subscriptions across OECD countries for the first time

Fibre’s rapid growth over the last decade is reflected in the study, with it making up more than 30 per cent of fixed broadband subscriptions across the OECD’s 38 member countries, up from 12 per cent a decade ago. Fibre subscriptions themselves had also increased 14 per cent year-on-year in 2020, compared to an overall 5 per cent increase for overall fixed broadband subscriptions. Despite this growth, cable is still the predominant fixed-line technology across the OECD’s member with around 34 per cent of subscriptions, though fibre is gradually replacing DSL subscriptions which have declined by 10 per cent over the last two years.

The data also showed that fibre connections increased by over 50 per cent in the UK and Ireland over 2020, while in Spain, Japan, Korea and Sweden it accounted for over 70 per cent of total broadband subscriptions.

While the UK still lags behind fibre leaders in terms of broadband market share, the rapid growth of fibre connections over the last year suggests that this gap is beginning to close.

You can hear more about the UK’s ongoing fibre rollout by joining us at Connected Britain in London this September.