Bandwidth-Intensive Applications Fueling Worldwide Broadband Growth

As use of the Internet grows more sophisticated and complex, so does the need for greater capacity and faster downloads. It is only fitting, then, that users are signing up for broadband at a rate that can be described as nothing short of high-speed.

According to the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based market research firm, In-Stat, the number of worldwide global broadband subscribers grew by 25 percent from 2007 to 2009. Total subscribers reached 763 million at the end of 2010. Of those, 179 million were in the United States.

Simply put, this rapid expansion represents a growing need for speed. Applications such as watching online video, using Internet protocol-based telephony services, and downloading music files require much greater bandwidth. Their growing popularity is responsible for the trend.

The numbers will eventually level off. According to In-Stat analyst Vahid Dejwakh, subscriber growth rates are expected to “slowly decrease” to 10 percent by 2014 as the broadband market matures. However, the opportunities still abound.

Growth in broadband subscribers varies across the globe for different technologies. For example, total worldwide digital subscriber line (DSL) customers were expected to reach 371 million at the end of 2010, fueled primarily by strong demand for DSL service in the Asia-Pacific region. Also, mobile wireless broadband subscribers continue to grow rapidly as mobile telephone service providers roll out 3G and 4G services. Approximately 76 percent of the world’s fiber to the home (FTTH) subscribers reside in the Asia-Pacific region, and North America continues to be the largest market for cable modem services.
In-Stat’s findings were reported in the study, “World Connecting at Broadband Speeds, More Mobile in 2010.”

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at

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