Spain is Europe's best country for gigabit internet, new research has claimed, as 301 million people across 49 countries now have access to the service.
A new report from network tester VIAVI Solutions said the volume of gigabit deployments has grown by 38 percent since May 2017. Around 4.2 percent of the world's population can access high speed internet.
Gigabit LTE availability has also surged to 74 million, largely driven by deployments across the United States, South Korea and China.
It is now the second most available source of the speeds after fibre. High speed fixed line technology overwhelmingly dominates gigabit supply with a global share of 90.4 percent. Viavi noted an increasing proportion was taken up by microscale deployments, largely in the United States, where populations as low as 300 were being connected.
The United States remains the largest target market for gigabit internet, with 64 million people able to use the technology. South Korea is next with 46.9 million, followed by Spain at 30.1 million.
The report found that 65 percent of the country's residents have access to the technology, the same proportion as Portugal.
France is the only other European country in the top 10 for coverage, with 8.3 million people able to use the speeds.
Since the beginning of last year, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Malta, Monaco and Russia have been the European countries offering gigabit internet for the first time.
Overall, the speeds are available to an eighth of the population across Europe and Russia.
Sameh Yamany, CTO at VIAVI Solutions, said: “It is fascinating to see how public and private companies, and even governments are pushing for gigabit internet to become an economic enabler for their customers, citizens or their own businesses."
He added: "But whether it is fibre, HFC [hybrid fibre coaxial], LTE or 5G in the near future, the onus is on service providers to ensure that the hoped-for speeds and experience match consumer expectations, which requires a robust discipline of network monitoring, testing and troubleshooting.”
Earlier this week, Deutsche Telekom announced it would begin offering 250MBps fibre this month, which it said was a further step in providing widespread gigabit coverage across Germany.
MTS and Turkcell have recently showcased the technology, while Swisscom is targeting nationwide gigabit speeds by 2019.