Week in research: Asians won't give up their broadband; Hungary's economic measures hurt telcos

Broadband as a utility: In the Asia-Pacific region, broadband is expanding and being adopted so rapidly that it "is becoming a utility" according to Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum, in a China Post article. In fact, a Point Topic report cited in the article, 42 percent of net broadband additions in 2010 came from China alone in the first quarter of 2011. And Asians are loath to give up their broadband connections, even in an economic recession, an indicator Mersh says puts broadband on par with utility service, at least in the minds of consumers. Article

Crisis tax hits telcos: The biggest threat to Hungary's telecommunications sector is its own government, a Research and Markets report says. The country's crisis tax, implemented in October 2010 and due to end after 2012, has negatively impacted telcos such as incumbent Magyar Telekom and cable operators like UPC. Deutsche Telekom and 12 other companies complained to the European Commission in January, asking the commission to investigate the crisis tax. There's one bright spot in the report, however: fixed-line losses are expected to slow as consumers start to adopt broadband. News release

U.S. Rural broadband deployment: The FCC's new rural broadband report revealed that over 28 percent of the rural population in the U.S. lack access to midrange 3Mbps broadband service. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement that while many service providers are making progress to close broadband availability gaps, "still lack access to the kind of broadband that most Americans take for granted." To date, 26.2 million U.S. residents can't get 3 Mbps broadband service, with nearly 73 percent of them living in rural areas. Article