The study, which was conducted by IHS Markit and Point Topic on behalf of the EC, found that in the 12 months to the end of June 2016 some 12.8 million new EU households gained access to high-speed broadband delivered via next-generation access (NGA) networks.
Very-high-speed-DSL (VDSL) continued to be the “key driver” of next-generation coverage growth across the EU – increasing 7.1 percentage points and reaching 48.2% of EU homes.
However, there was still found to be a significant gap between rural and national NGA coverage with only 39.2% of rural households across the EU having access to high-speed broadband services.
This stands in contrast to the near-ubiquity of 4G LTE networks, which expanded at a fast pace and covered 96% of EU households by the end of June 2016.
“Availability of 4G LTE services has become near-universal in many study countries,” said Alzbeta Fellenbaum, principal analyst at IHS Markit.
“In 11 countries, LTE coverage reached 99% of households and overall, LTE coverage now reaches similar levels to those of 3G HSPA networks. This is a major improvement compared to just four years ago, when 4G LTE services were available to only 59.1% of EU homes.”