|May in Spain: DSL -645, Fiber +10K, Cable +9K|
|Thursday, 14 July 2011 22:47|
With 20% unemployment amid the financial crisis, it's no surprise growth is slow in Spanish broadband. DSL has long had a 5-1 lead over cable, but in April and May did very poorly. Telefonica, the DSL leader, has made ambitious promises to upgrade, including fiber for all of Madrid in the next few years. They've actually deployed very little.
DSL was well ahead in the first quarter, so I doubt this reflects an extreme shift in customer preference. It's more likely a result of temporary marketing and pricing factors. Nonetheless, the negative DSL figure is a bad omen.
Spain, Italy, and Ireland have just over 20 broadband lines for each hundred people, a third lower than richer countries like France and Germany. (OECD, end 2010) Economics and demographics play a role, but it's telling that these countries had a near monopoly carrier and weak regulation until recent years.