Broadband growing rapidly worldwide, says study

Research agency In-Stat/MDR has forecast that the number of broadband subscribers worldwide will surpass 46 million by the end of 2002.

The number of broadband subscribers is expected to grow rapidly over the next three years to surpass 120 million by 2005, according to the agency. The news comes on the heels of figures released by the Federal Communications Commission, The number of broadband connections in the US increased by 33 per cent during the second half of 2001, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

In late 2001, DSL became the most widely used broadband access technology when the number of worldwide DSL subscribers exceeded 17 million. However, in the US, cable modem subscribers continue to outnumber DSL subscribers by a wide margin. According to In-Stat/MDR, other broadband access technologies such as satellite broadband, Fiber-to-the Home, and fixed wireless service account for only five percent of current worldwide broadband subscribers.

The number of homes and businesses using high-speed lines to connect to the Internet increased from 9.6 million to 12.8 million lines in the US at the end of the year.

This compares with a 36 percent rise in the first half of 2001 when the number of high-speed lines increased from nearly 7.1 million to 9.6 million. Of the 12.8 million high-speed lines in service at the end of 2001, 11 million served residential and small business subscribers, a 41 percent increase on the first half of 2001 when 7.8 million residential and small business subscribers could connect to the Net using high-speed lines.

Around 7.4 million of the total number of high-speed lines in service at the end of last year were advanced service lines that provide services at speeds exceeding 200 kilobits per second (kbps) in both directions. This is an increase of 25 percent on the first six months of the year. About 5.8 million residential and small business subscribers had advanced service lines, according to the report.

At the end of 2001, the presence of high-speed service subscribers were reported in all fifty states, and in 79 percent of the nation?s zip codes.

ADSL lines in service increased by 47 per cent during the second half of the year, from 5.2 million to 7.1 million lines, while cable modem service increased by 45 percent, from nearly 3.6 million to 5.2 million lines.

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