According to the latest research from London-based consultancy Point Topic, the number of broadband lines worldwide increased by almost 55% to over 123 million in the 12 months to 30 June 2004. DSL lines increased by over 30 million, or 66%, to 78 million, whilst cable modem and other broadband lines increased by nearly 13 million, or 39%, to 45 million. One area to witness exponential growth during the year was the ‘broadband services over fibre’ market. According to Point Topic, the share of ‘other broadband’ lines attributed to ‘fibre-to-the-building’ (FTTB) technologies was 9 million, or 7.3%.
The largest market in terms of overall broadband subscribers remains the US with over 29 million lines, although China represents the fastest growing market with 19 million lines at the end of June. By contrast, growth in Japan and Korea is leveling off, although the latter remains the most highly-penetrated market worldwide with 24.4 lines per 100 inhabitants. In Europe, the biggest markets are Germany and France with about 5.1 million lines each, while the UK is about 750,000 lines behind, but growing faster.