The term "99%" is frequently used more for effect than numerical accuracy, but in the case of Denmark's broadband availability it is quite exact. According to the IT and Tele Agency's newly published figures only 21,000 households and companies in Denmark – a mere 1% of the national total – lie outside the reach of ADSL, WiMAX or fibre optic broadband, reports Computerworld.
99% puts Denmark right at the top of the performance league regarding the roll-out of high speed internet connections, and is in line with the government's declared ambition that by the end of 2010 anyone in the country desiring access to broadband internet should be able to do so.
But covering the last 1% may not be that quickly or easily achieved. In 2007 there were 23,000 households without access to broadband internet, compared to the current 21,000. At that rate of advance, the 2010 target seems unlikely to be met.
So why the slow progress? Brian Troelsen, telecoms analyst at IDC, puts it in a nutshell. "It will cost a lot of money to cover the last corners," he says, making the pertinent point that operators lack interest because there is no financial benefit in it for them.
The state may decide to step in and stump up of course, but the IT and Tele Agency thinks it more likely that mobile broadband will provide the answer for those few for whom broadband is still out of reach. Measured by land area, mobile broadband in Denmark currently has a coverage of 89%.