Worldwide broadband growth slows - but China still leads

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The most recent broadband statistics from analyst Point Topic have just been published, covering the last quarter of 2008. Headline figures showed that despite the worldwide economic troubles, another 13.8 million new broadband lines were added, an increase of 3.57% to 410.9 million over Q3 2008. However, there's little doubt the pace of growth is slowing, with the number of net additions in the quarter being the lowest in three years. 
 
China has held onto its position as the leader in number of broadband lines with 83.4 million subscribers, over the US with 79.1 million - and it is also growing marginally quicker. However, for the first time in 2008, the number of China net adds was lower than the previous quarter, showing that the pace of growth is slowing. Germany was the only other country that managed to add in excess of 1 million adds in Q4 2008, up in fact over the previous quarter. In terms of penetration, three countries now exceed 100% household penetration: Monaco (112.3%), Luxembourg (101%) and Hong Kong (100.9%)
 
Regionally, Western Europe is the biggest market, contributing 25.7% of all broadband lines, followed by South and East Asia (22.8%) and North America (21.5%). All regions saw growth in Q4 2008, but growth was down over the previous quarter in five of the seven regions, with the mature Western European and Asia-Pacific markets surprisingly posting higher growth rates. Despite slowing pace, however, Latin America (7.6%) and Eastern Europe (6.2%) exhibited the highest growth rates. The largest fall was experienced in South and East Asia where growth fell to 3.7% from 7.4% largely because of the slowdown experienced in China. 
 
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.