back to article Wired broadband adoption dips as wireless flies

The developed world has lost its appetite for terrestrial internet connections, but is hungry for vast increases in wireless connectivity, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD's) latest data on broadband adoption among its 34 members. The new data asserts that residents of OECD …


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  1. Shades

    What exactly...

    ...does this prove apart from stating the bleedin' obvious?

    Pretty much everyone I know has wired broadband so of course its up-take is going to slow, if my experience is anything to go by at least. Similarly, not everyone (I know) has a phone, tablet or other device which can connect to the internet, but many, even ones I never expected, are making the jump from "dumb" phone to smartphone if only because of their prevalence and relatively low cost. So of course demand for wireless connectivity is increasing.

    Come back to me when wireless starts replacing wired, then I'll be more interested (if only because it may mean I get faster speeds through my wired connection.)

    How do I get a job on this OECD? I wouldn't mind getting paid for producing mind numbingly obvious "stats"

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Since the idiots

      who think wireless can replace fibre have yet to show up here I think your annoyance is a little premature. As for the "mind numbingly obvious "stats"" , well statistics tend to be like that - they tell you what you already know but with numbers.

  2. Ole Juul

    Wireless or mobile?

    The OECD is frustratingly vague about just what constitutes a wireless service.

    The word wireless is generally not used exclusively to refer to mobile, though perhaps that is what they wish to do but won't admit it.

    Here in Canada we have an increase in wireless service simply because the areas where it is impractical to install wired service are the ones which are being serviced last in the big push to get everyone on the internet. Like someone said above, "everyone I know has wired". So now we're filling in the areas where we can only use wireless - which is most of rural Canada.

  3. stucs201

    How is a growth of 1.8% a dip?

    A dip would imply less connections. A growth implies more.

  4. Mage Silver badge


    "UPC which offers a broadband product which, thanks to a five-terabyte download allowance at a speed of just ten megabits per second, cannot ever reach the download quota"

    So that's "unlimited" then. Unlike the many "unlimited" products (many on slower connections) where you CAN use up your quota (Fine Print FUP = "Fair Usage Policy")

    I have "fixed wireless". Unlike Mobile (Mobile Broadband is an oxymoron). it's real broadband.

    The Irish Government (successive) and Comreg are pushing hard to get mobile included as "real broadband" in EC and OECD stats. Otherwise someone could end up being prosecuted. The National Broadband Scheme simply subsidized "Three" adding more Mobile masts for 3G. Not a single Broadband connection

  5. dpadams

    Australia figures misleading

    Wired vs. wireless uptake numbers from Australia are bound to be misleading as many people have to decide between wireless broadband and dial-up, not wireless broadband and wired broadband. In thousands of exchanges around Australia, there simply isn't an ADSL port to be had. (Telstra has under provisioned since day one.) At that point the options are:

    * Wireless broadband, if available.

    * Dial-up.

    * Satellite.

    Australian numbers are only meaningful if you compare what choices people have made from the choices *available* to them. As Telstra continues with their TopHat program (adding ADSL2 ports to existing RIMs), we should see greater wired take-up again...until the ports are exhausted.

    Note that there's no point asking Telstra as their don't keep a count of how many people are waiting on a wired port to come free. They have a national demand register and they claim to have a 'waiting list' for ports. The waiting list does not exist and the demand register is rarely used.

    Given that Telstra's main infrastructure spend has been on 4G networks, it's entirely self-serving for them to claim that people don't want wired Internet. People want it, they just can't get it.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Australia figures misleading

      People want it, they just can't get it.

      The same here in Canada, although perhaps for other reasons. In any case it is wrong to assume that people don't want to buy something just because it isn't offered. That isn't statistics. It's not even bad statistics.

  6. Oor Nonny-Muss

    But it's reasonably obvious why...

    In my house there is a broadband connection, used by me and all of my family (1 connection used by more than 1 person).

    My phone has a broadband connection used by me.

    My better half's phone has a broadband connection, used by her.

    I have a Mi-fi that has a broadband connection used by me.

    I make that 3 connections used by 2 people.

  7. Just_this_guy
    Thumb Down

    Clumsy graph

    Makes the data look like a trend over time. The GDP 'line' is daft: nothing is signified by the connection between data points.

  8. MartinB105

    UPC five terabyte limit...

    I wonder if that's the same UPC as we have in The Netherlands, who have an unspecified transfer limit imposed by a "fair use policy", who told me outright when asked that no-one has ever exceeded it, despite me once transferring 525 GB of in one month.

    That was in 2006 too. These days they're not even phased when I download 85 GB of torrents in one evening, like I did earlier this week - and that's not even factoring in the upload traffic!

    Great ISP. :)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Broadband Penetration?

    Isn't that a bit, err, rude?

  10. ifconfig

    Where's the data to say broadband doesn't boost GDP?

    The byline "OECD data offers grim view of broadband's GDP-boosting prowess" is not consistent with the data presented. You'd have to plot delta-GDP versus delta-broadband-adoption to make that claim.

    The main take-home information from the graph showing "broadband penetration compared to gross domestic product (GDP)." (aside from that Luxembourgians have insanely high GDP per capita) is that countries with a higher GDP per capita to tend to have a higher rate of broadband adoption (draw a line of best fit for each plot, and you'll see it). Or that Australia (for example) has relatively high broadband adoption relative to its per-capita-GDP - as compared to some other countries. There aren't many more inferences to make, but "lots of broadband users does not necessarily translate into colossal GDP" (GDP doesn't even appear as a data point on the graph) is NOT one of them.

    I turn to El Reg for science and precision. Let's have some, please.

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