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October 01, 2008

Report: Europe Leads in Broadband Subscriptions

By Narayan Bhat, TMCnet Contributor

With 120 million subscribers, Europe accounts for 32 percent of the global broadband market and it has been leading broadband subscriber growth for the past two years, Broadband Forum reported.
At the end of second quarter 2008, the number of broadband subscribers worldwide exceeded 380 million and China appeared to be quickly overtaking the U.S.
Dial-up connections are declining, while broadband subscriptions have grown at a rate of 17 percent during the past 12 months, according to statistics from analyst firm Point Topic.
The top ten countries group, by broadband subscribers, was once again led by the U.S., which boasted nearly 77 million, Broadband Forum said in its report. Close behind is China with just over 76 million.
China’s broadband deployment has grown by over 6.5 percent in the last year.
With 17.7 million connections, Germany is well ahead of other European countries, but other countries such as the U.K., France, Italy and Spain have also gained a place in the top 10. 
In the area of Internet technology, DSL is the most popular with 250 million customers and a 64 percent market share, while cable claims 21.5 percent of the market.
Telco companies have enjoyed strong growth with their fiber deployments growing significantly over the same time period, up by more than 25 percent.
The rise in subscribers together with the broadening reach and capabilities of broadband, both geographically and technologically, has led to an increase in alternative access technologies such as WiMAX (News - Alert) and WiFi, Broadband Forum said.
“This report demonstrates how the broadband industry is visibly evolving, reacting to a number of variables from economic and environmental factors driving better existing network utilization, to speed and application demands associated with the introduction of new services,” said George Dobrowski, chairman and president of the Broadband Forum, in a statement.
To capture the full potential of broadband, the Broadband Forum suggested that the industry must enable service providers to access tools and standards needed to optimize their networks.

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Narayan Bhat is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Narayan's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Mae Kowalke

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