Broadband growth surges despite economic downturn

The U.S. added 11.4 million high-speed Internet subscribers from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009, second only to China's 17.1 million new connections over the past 12 months, as the global economic malaise failed to dampen expansion in new broadband subs.

A Broadband Forum report released at the CommunicAsia 2009 trade fair in Singapore showed worldwide broadband connections increased by nearly 17 million lines in the first quarter alone, topping 429.2 million. The last quarter grew at a slightly higher pace than the previous three months to close out 2008. The U.S. saw its connectivity increase to some 93.5 million users, a 3.87 percent growth spurt in the quarter. But there were 20 countries that saw double-digit growth in the quarter, led by Ukraine (15.2 percent), India (13.4 percent), Egypt (10.6 percent) and Mexico (10.3 percent).

"It's now getting to a point where broadband is seen much more as a necessity rather than a luxury," said Robin Mersh, chief operating officer of the Broadband Forum.

The Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), which uses ordinary copper telephone lines, remains the most popular broadband access technology, with a 64.62 percent market share, the report said.

For more:
- see this release

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