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Global Broadband Users Hit 670m as UK Comes Top for Fibre Growth

Friday, Dec 20th, 2013 (2:12 pm) - Score 1,180

The total number of global broadband subscribers in Q3-2013 has grown by 1.8% in the quarter to reach 670 Million (up from just 0.7% added in Q2). But the data also reveals that the UK has a 132.1% annual growth rate for fibre optic based broadband (FTTC/P/H etc.) and that puts us top of the table.

In addition it’s also noted that true fibre optic FTTH connections saw a 13.6% increase in subscribers during Q3 2013 and this jumps to 70% for year-on-year. By comparison the other fibre based technologies, such as hybrid fibre FTTC (VDSL), added 4.7% more subscribers in Q3 and is running at over 20% year-on-year.


broadband technology growth q3 2013

As a result the proportion of pure copper line based broadband technologies (e.g. ADSL) continues to shrink as users adopt fibre, although ADSL services are still the dominant method of Internet delivery. Meanwhile cable (e.g. Virgin Media) has held steady (note: we suggest disregarding the Q3 2011 column below as it appears to be incorrect).


The United Kingdom also tops the table for general “fibre broadband” growth but it should also be noted that countries, such as those which already have a mature fibre optic infrastructure (e.g. Japan and South Korea), will of course be at the bottom despite having a superior network. Sadly Point Topic’s data does not show how we compare when hybrid and true fibre optic connections are split into different tables (i.e. UK growth in true fibre has been very slow).

Otherwise most of the developments are down to a combination of Virgin Media’s speed boost and BT’s commercial deployment of FTTC technology to 66% of the UK by Spring 2014. The national state aid supported Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project is however starting to have a growing impact but this will show up more next year.

top 18 countries fibre broadband growth

Credits to Point Topic for allowing us to snoop on their full report.


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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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