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Worldwide Broadband Accounts Continue to Rise

  |  January 3, 2006   |  Comments

The U.K. surpassed France in broadband lines late in 2005, while the U.S. led all other countries.

Worldwide broadband lines are expected to exceed 205 million by close of 2005, according to research by U.K.-based Point Topic. The total includes subscriptions over DSL (define), cable modem, and other broadband lines.

Subscriber lines reached 190.3 million in Q3 2005, up 25 percent from 152.4 million active subscriptions lines at the end of 2004. That's 37.9 million new lines added between December 31, 2004, and September 30, 2005. Though broadband subscriber rates continue to increase, a quarterly decline in growth from 7.9 percent in Q1 2005 to 7.3 percent in Q2 indicates a tapering of new broadband lines globally. Recent reports identified the trend in the U.S. market, as well.

In Europe, France led in broadband subscriber lines, with the U.K. coming in a close second. France closed the third quarter with 8.9 million lines, and the U.K. ended with 8.6 million. Yearend totals for each country show the U.K. is expected to have 9.8 million broadband lines to France's 9.7 million.

Top Broadband Countries by Growth December 31 2004 September 30 2004
Click on graphic to view chart
The region to watch is the Middle East and Africa, identified as the fastest-growing region with a 16.5 percent gain in Q3 2005. Turkey, Morocco, and South Africa each gained 30 percent during the quarter. Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait are the leaders in the Arab World.

Latin America and Eastern Europe are the next fast-growing regions. Argentina and Mexico together added 16 percent to its subscriber lines in the third quarter. Brazil experienced a 13.4 percent gain for the same period. In Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Slovakia show signs of growth after a slow broadband adoption rate.

Top Broadband Countries by Number of Lines Q4 2004 and Q3 2005
Click on graphic to view chart
The U.S. continues to support the largest volume of broadband with 46.9 million lines. Following closely are China with 35.9 million subscriber lines and Japan with 26.4 million.

The quarterly "World Broadband Statistics" report covers 87 countries and tracks the number of lines serving broadband through DSL, cable modems, and other technologies.

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Enid Burns

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