Broadband Spreads Out, Speeds Up: eMarketer

At what point will DSL seem slow?

JUNE 5, 2007 – The number of broadband subscribers will reach 567 million worldwide by 2011, up from the current 285 million, according to In-Stat’s “Broadband Gets Big: Global Broadband Subs Hit 285 Million” report. New subscribers totaled 65 million in the 12 months prior to May 2007.

DSL and cable modems account for 92% of broadband connections worldwide. The report stated that over half of the world’s broadband access will come from DSL connections by 2011.

Mike Paxton of In-Stat attributed the growth to a basic desire for speedier Internet connections.

Mr. Paxton also said, “The emergence of online applications such as viewing video clips or TV programming, downloading music files, and even playing online games, are fueling end-user demand for ‘fatter pipes.'”

eMarketer’s own projections are based on the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of at least 200 kbps in at least one direction. eMarketer also counts broadband households, not individual subscriptions. By this count, the number of broadband-connected households will reach more than 497 million worldwide by 2011, up from 251.2 million in 2006.

eMarketer Senior Analyst Ben Macklin notes, “We are seeing high-speed Internet users trading up to very-high-speed Internet connections. Plain old vanilla ADSL is quickly turning into the new ‘dial-up’.”

The nature of broadband connections is also changing. In-Stat projected over 55 million fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband households by 2011.

Alternative broadband technologies such as FTTH are growing quickly, especially in Japan, South Korea and the US, according to Point Topic. The firm claimed that more than 10% of the world’s broadband connections were through FTTH as of Q3 2006.

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