According to research performed by Point Topic for the Broadband Forum, the number of global broadband fixed subscriber lines passed the 500 million mark in July.

The new figures show that global broadband subscribership reached nearly 498 million lines (497,768,162) by the end of June, representing a 2.63-percent growth in 2Q10 and 11.99 percent in the prior 12 months.

According to Point Topic CEO Oliver Johnson, “It has only taken 11 years to get to half-a-billion fixed broadband lines. The Internet and all that it brings has taken hold like no technology since the invention of fire.” Adds Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum, “We continue to work toward strategic broadband evolution goals, and our work on IPv6 and helping service providers to support its integration is part of our role in anticipating and solving the issues before they arise. This is the one of the key initiatives that is paving the way for the next milestone to be achieved.”

In part, the new report says:

  • China was responsible for 43 percent of all net broadband lines added in 2Q10.
  • Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey performed better in garnering new subs during 2Q10 than they did a year earlier.
  • The Central and South American markets, which have been hot broadband prospects in the past, have slowed somewhat but still are reporting quarterly growth in the 5 percent-to-7 percent range

But here’s the bad news: North America as a whole (in particular, Canada) has “significantly slowed” in broadband subscribership, with Point Topic noting, in Canada’s case, that broadband take-up has dropped to a 10-year low.

“The end of housing stimulus packages in North America has badly affected growth in broadband,” Johnson explained.

IPTV Take-Up Stronger

Point Topic also notes its research shows a strong growth in IPTV subscribers worldwide, with more than 2.3 million new subscribers added to the total. The report showed some 38.5 million people were using IPTV services worldwide by the end of 2Q10, in line with broadband growth. This translates to 7.7 percent of the world’s broadband lines carrying IPTV.

Europe continues as the most established region for IPTV, with almost 19 million subscribers, of whom almost half live in France. China (including Hong Kong and Macau) had the most net additions during the second quarter – 421,000 – ranking it second, with the United States in third place with almost 6.5 million IPTV subscribers.

The report also says China dominates the Asian IPTV market with more than 6.7 million IPTV subscribers, but India may close in soon, even though deployments there are just starting. And in South America, Colombia reported more than 100,000 IPTV subscribers in 2Q10.

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