US broadband market picks up in Q1 2009

The latest world broadband statistics from Point Topic have just been published By the end of Q1 2009, there were 429.2 million broadband subscribers worldwide, an increase of 4% over the last quarter of 2008. This put global broadband household penetration at 27.3%, an increase of 17.7% over penetration in Q1 2008. This growth comes in spite of the economic slowdown which affected take-up worldwide in 2008. Growth in Europe and Japan was still slow at the start of 2009, but the survey shows that growth in the US picked up again in the past two quarters and it has seen the fastest real growth in net adds since 2007. 

Regionally there hasn't been much change in overall direction, with growth in mature markets slowing as they reach saturation and emerging markets responsible for the bulk of net additions. Western Europe still has the largest proportion of broadband lines at 25.18%, followed by South and East Asia at 23.07% and the US at 21.79%. Growth in Eastern Europe slowed the most of all regions down to 5.75% from 7.9% in Q408, but it was still the third-fastest growing region after Latin America and South & East Asia. China remains the world's largest broadband market with 88 million lines, followed by the US with 83 million.

As for broadband technologies, fiber is continuing to make inroads into the market, with its growth outpacing both DSL and cable modems. However, DSL continues to be the dominant broadband technology with 65% of all broadband lines, with fiber only making up 12%. Broadband technologies vary quite dramatically in popularity between regions, with the Asia-Pacific and South and East Asia contributing 82% of all fiber connections. The fiber powerhouses are China (20 million connections), Japan (15.1 million), Korea (7 million) and Taiwan (1.2 million).

The full report can be found here.
Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.