Biggest Internet Providers in Europe

internet worldEurope has a vast expanse of internet providers. It would be impossible to do an analysis of all of them in one article. Unlike the United States, where there is largely a monopoly between a few carriers, Europe is home to thousands of providers. The development of internet services in Europe was very different than that of the United States. There was once more of a monopoly with the European providers, but regulations forced those existing providers to share the infrastructure they had in place with others wishing to provide services. This is known as local loop unbundling. As a result of this, new companies coming into the marketplace found it much cheaper to buy or rent infrastructure from existing companies than to develop their own. Ultimately, this meant that new technology and advancements would be slow to enter the marketplace. Based on usage data, the countries with the most broadband users are Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.


DSL or digital subscriber line, services dominate the market in Germany. However, the largest broadband operators are now facing competition from cable and satellite providers. The largest provider in Germany is Deutsche Telekom. hey provide fixed telephony (land line telephones), mobile telephone, broadband internet, IT services, networking solutions and digital television, and cloud platforms. Telekom is striving to convert its users to Fiber to the Home, many of the company’s existing existing copper cables. According to their website, Telekom’s goal is to have 80% of Germany’s population on fiber cables by 2018.

The biggest competitors to Deutsche Telekom seem to be the cable televisionĀ  providers. One of these is Kabel Deutschland; a subsidiary to the very large European provider Vodafone. Kabel Deutschland offers a variety of cable television services and boasts of broadband speeds of up to 200 mbsp.


French internet providers are dominated by Orange. Orange was formerly the state provider known as France Telecom. Orange offers internet, television, and phone via DSL options and they have a program called Livebox Fibre, which purportedly delivers downloads at the speed of light. Orange also provides IPTV or Internet Protocol Television, which delivers television over the internet or a LAN, rather than a satellite or cable.

United Kingdom

While the United Kingdom also has many internet providers, there are three companies that seem to take the largest share of the market. Those are the BT Group, Sky broadband, and Virgin Media. These three companies do not differ much in the products they offer. Each offers internet, television, and phone service. Each offers fiber optics. However, Virgin Media, one of the world’s first mobile providers, claims speeds of up to 100 mbps and Sky offers “truly unlimited broadband,” with no caps or traffic management.


Italy is characterized by its older population. They have been very slow to modernize and have a lack of fiber lines to offer. The “Fiber for Italy” project has been underway with several of the largest providers in Italy to modernize the cable systems in the country. One of the largest providers there, Fastweb, provides land line and mobile phones, and fiber and DSL internet. Another provider in Italy, Tiscali offers an internet package with speeds up to 100 mbps.


Spain is regularly on the top ten list of countries with the fastest broadband. This is most likely due to the abundance of fiber cables that are run there. The biggest provider there, Movistar, provides DSL and Fiber to Spain and Latin America. Another provider in Spain is Vodafone. Vodafone is the second largest mobile telecommunications company in the world. They operate in 26 countries. They provide telephone, internet, and digital television.


Slovakia has a booming internet market also due to the fact that many technology companies have brought in their businesses to this small, but fast growing central european country in the last few years. One of the biggest internet providers here is DIGI Slovakia that provide a high speed broadband, among other services. Most of the companies that provide internet services are doing so as part of their service portfolio to minimize costs.

Many of the Internet Service Providers in Europe have been merging or taking over subsidiaries. The lines are often blurred as to which companies are partnered, due to the fact that many are not re-branded. The regulators in the European Union favor the competitive marketplace that they think provides better services for less money. For this reason, internet service providers will continue to grow in Europe.

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