Broadband take-up passes 600m mark as China grows and grows

Figures prepared by UK-based analysts Point Topic and published by The Broadband Forum have revealed that worldwide broadband subscription has exceeded 600 million users.

The figure – which is more than the populations of the United States and Brazil combined and accounts for approximately 8.5% of the world’s population – was passed in the first quarter of 2012, according to the report.

This resulted in an increased subscriber base of over 16 million lines during the first quarter with Asia noting the biggest growth, adding 8.5m new lines to a total of 262m subscribers overall.

In terms of specific countries, China unsurprisingly remains the country with the most users, with over a quarter of the overall figure – 164m – accounted for. The United States and Japan round off the top three, with 93m and 37m broadband users respectively.

The research also found that, whilst digital subscriber line (DSL) remained the most used access technology globally, there was a strong growth in the use of fiber to the x (FTTH) technology worldwide.

Point Topic CEO Oliver Johnson noted that “the cost-effectiveness and the significant increase in bandwidth over DSL in particular is hitting the sweet spot at the moment in terms of technology market share”.

Robin Marsh, CEO of The Broadband Forum, commented: “This is another significant milestone in an exciting arena that shows no sign of slowing down. It is especially rewarding to be making this announcement in Asia, which has contributed so much to fuelling this phenomenal success”.

How far can broadband go? Of course the top 10 countries are all highly developed countries – as India, the second most populous nation, ranks only 12th in broadband users. Despite this good news, is there still an awful lot of work to do in integrating developing nations?

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