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Fibre Optic Lines Boost World Broadband Users to 654.6 Million

Wednesday, Oct 23rd, 2013 (1:43 pm) - Score 996

The latest Point Topic report reveals that the total number of global broadband subscribers in Q2-2013 has grown just +0.7% (down from +2% in Q1) to total 656,500,000, which is the “slowest quarterly growth reported since 1998“. But the expansion of superfast fibre optic (FTTH, FTTC etc.) based connectivity has continued and now accounts for nearly 25% of all connections (up from 22% in Q1).

Apparently the primary reason for the significant slowdown is a net reduction in the total number of broadband subscribers reported in North America and China; the latter of which lost nearly half a million broadband subscribers in the quarter.

Today most of the movement in China seems to be migrations as customers switch from slower copped-based services (ADSL etc.) and on to the latest FTTH lines. At end of 2012 China Telecom had 55 million homes passed by FTTH and the country is aiming for 40 million FTTH subscribers by the end of 2015.

Overall 7.7m copper broadband subscriptions have been lost so far in 2013 as fibre optic technologies, which grew by 20m over the same period, have moved to cannibalise the market. The rate of copper decline is also increasing, which is perhaps largely due to the rapid pace of new State Aid supported fibre based deployment projects around the world (e.g. the £1.2bn Broadband Delivery UK scheme). Point Topic has been kind enough to provide ISPreview.co.uk with a couple of charts to help illustrate this.

broadband technology by market share q2 2013

The movement between platforms is even easier to see when we look at the quarterly growth for each technology type.

broadband technology growth q2 2013

Elsewhere the United Kingdom currently ranks 7th in terms of comparing countries by their broadband subscriber count (22.28 million), which places us just below France on 23.61m in 6th place. The top spot is now held by China (184.03m) and they’re followed by the USA (94.38m) and Japan comes someway behind (34.86m).

Separately the VoIP operators tracked by Point Topic recorded a combined worldwide subscriber total of 158.7m at the end of June 2013, which is up by 7.2m during the first half of 2013 but also represents a slight slowdown. A similar problem appears to be afflicting IPTV services, which grew to 87.2m subscriptions across the globe and that represents a slower quarterly growth of just below 5% (in Q1 it was just above 5%).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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