Countries such as Sweden, Norway, Andora and Slovenia lead the way with more than 10 per cent of all connections being fibre broadband – the fastest type of broadband with average speeds at around 100MbpS (megabits per second).
More than two million people in Europe are now connected to fibre-to-the-home broadband, however the UK does not even have one per cent of take-up and falls outside the top 15 in terms of adoption as only countries with more than one per cent penetration are included in the ranking.
The figures were announced by the Fibre-To-The-Home Council at the Broadband World Forum in Paris.
Council President Karel Helsen predicted that 13m people across 35 European countries would have fibre broadband by 2012, with average speeds at around 100Mbps.
In the UK, rural businesses are being suffocated by slow and unreliable broadband, with more than 800,000 countryside properties unable to achieve the minimum level targeted by the Government.
Around 42 per cent of rural households are currently unable to access the internet at 2 Mbps, the speed that the Government has pledged to bring to all homes in the Digital Britain report published in June.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) estimates that around a quarter of rural businesses will see their trading severely hampered over the coming years because of the Government’s failure to commit to high-speed broadband in the countryside.
Campaigners from the CLA say life of rural Britain will be “snuffed” out if by 2020 fibre optic technology is only available to cities and towns.