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In-Stat Report: 46 Million Speedies Worldwide By 2003

22 Jul, 2002 By: Hive News

Increasing user demand for faster connections to the Web has led to substantial broadband subscriber growth over the last year, says a new report from In-Stat/MDR.The number of worldwide broadband subscribers passed the 30 million mark at the beginning of 2002 and worldwide subscriber totals are forecasted to surpass 46 million total subscribers by the end of this year, the report posits.

DSL has become the premier broadband access technology in the international market, while cable modem service continues to do extremely well in the United States.

At the same time, the availability of broadband access remains the single greatest challenge to long-term broadband growth, since the majority of the world's telecommunications infrastructure cannot yet support broadband access technologies, the report says.

Because of the low penetration and adoption rates expected for cable modems in the business sector, the residential market will continue to be the real battleground for broadband access technologies. In the United States, cable operators have rapidly made cable modem service available to the majority of their residential customers, while almost ignoring the business community.

On the other hand, DSL has made inroads with businesses and service providers have managed to increase their residential footprint with self-installation service packages. A key advantage in winning new broadband subscribers in the United States has been the cable industry's "Triple Play" bundled service package of voice, video and high-speed Internet access, the study asserts – a marketing package that DSL service providers can rarely match.

The report also found that:

  • In late 2001, the number of worldwide DSL subscribers surpassed 17 million, enabling DSL service to replace cable modem service as the most widely used broadband access technology.
  • A sharp rise in the number of DSL subscribers in the Asia Pacific region sparked worldwide DSL growth.
  • In the United States, cable modem subscribers continue to outnumber DSL subscribers by a wide margin. At the beginning of 2002, there were 7.12 million U.S. cable modem subscribers and only 4.6 million DSL subscribers.
  • Other broadband access technologies like satellite broadband, Fiber-to-the-Home and fixed wireless service are “merely bit players” in the world of broadband. The three services account for only 5 percent of current worldwide broadband subscribers.

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