ECONOMY

Broadband popularity picking up

Broadband Internet penetration reached 15.6 percent of the population at the end of June. The quarterly report by the National Telecommunications and Post Commission for the April-to-June period showed that 124,708 new broadband Internet connections were added, raising the total to 1.75 million. Still, the significant rise for Greece has not changed the country’s rank among European Union states, as it remains in 23rd place behind Hungary, which has 16.3 percent penetration. Dominant market player OTE telecom controls some 55 percent of broadband connections, but new connections with alternative service providers are showing a greater growth rate than that of OTE. While total broadband connections rose by 37 percent from June 2008 to June 2009, connections with alternative suppliers, through an unbundled local loop, grew by 40 percent. The average speed of broadband connections also improved, jumping from 3 megabytes per second in the first quarter of the year to 4 Mbps in the second quarter.