Residential broadband penetration in Western Europe is set to rise by 48 million households over the next six years, from 44 percent penetration at the end of 2007 to 71 percent by the end of 2013.
Over the same period, Forrester Research projects the continual marginalisation of dial-up services, which will account for only two percent of all online connections. The impact of of emerging technologies such as WiMAX and FTTH will be limited to eight percent of all Internet connections.
Forrester Research Analyst Pete Nuthall, said, "The addition of 48 million new broadband connections may seem a healthy opportunity for broadband suppliers, but our forecast reveals the key challenge for ISPs will be managing customer churn.
"In 2007, we estimate the level of churn to be 20 percent across Western Europe, this will peak in 2012 at 31 percent. Most at risk are incumbents such as BT, France Télécom, Deutsche Telekom, and KPN, due to regulatory action that force them to open up their networks to competition through local loop unbundling (LLU). “
He added, “Incumbents will need to reassess existing retention strategies in the light of increased price-based competition from alternative ISPs."
The Forrester forecast covers 17 Western European countries and draws upon Forrester’s European Consumer Technographics surveys.
At 85% broadband household penetration by 2013, the Netherlands and Denmark are top of the board and, with Norway, Finland, and Sweden, are set to continue their past years of broadband dominance.
By 2013, the UK (82 percent), Germany (72 percent) and France (69 percent) will begin to close the broadband penetration gap with European leaders.
Italy, Spain and Portugal will continue to be amongst the European broadband laggards reaching only 58 percent, 61 percent and 55 percent respectively by end of 2013. However these countries will show high growth rates compared to more mature broadband markets.
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