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Copper Lines Decline as Global Fixed Broadband Lines Top 690M

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 (2:54 pm) - Score 1,126
copper telecoms and broadband cable scrap

The latest Q1-2014 global broadband report from UK telecoms analyst Point Topic has revealed that the world is now home to 690.1 million fixed line broadband subscribers (+1.9% in the quarter), which is up from +0.4% recorded at the end of 2013. It’s also the first quarter where the market share for older copper line broadband connections (e.g. ADSL, SDSL) has dipped below 50%.

As usual coppers loss is fibres gain, with both superfast hybrid-fibre (FTTC/N/x) and ultrafast true fibre optic (FTTH/P/B) broadband connections seeming to pick-up the slack as customers migrate to faster connectivity. On the other hand it should be said that many hybrid-fibre solutions, such as FTTC, are actually dependent upon a “last mile” style run of existing copper cable via VDSL connectivity and so the picture is a little more complex.

Never the less, at the current rate of fibre growth and ADSL decline, it looks like hybrid-fibre alone could overtake older style copper connections in around 5 years’ time. This would be a crucial tipping point that could start some operators down the road to phasing out older ADSL services completely.

broadband subscribers by technology q1 2014

Elsewhere the latest report also mentions the growth in Internet TV (IPTV) style services (i.e. those purchased from fixed broadband ISPs). Apparently global IPTV subscriptions have now reached 100.9 million, which is up 4.8% (4.6m) in Q1-2014 and thus maintains the fairly steady level of growth from previous quarters.

Interestingly the UK actually shows up on the Top 10 list, which is largely due to the impact of TalkTalk and BT’s respective IPTV and YouView based platforms.

Top 10 IPTV Countries

1. China (32.7m)
2. France (14.8m)
3. USA (12.3m)
4. South Korea (9.1m)
5. Japan (4.5m)
6. Russia (3.6m)
7. Germany (2.7m)
8. United Kingdom (1.9m)
9. Netherlands (1.8m)
10. Vietnam (1.6m)

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. Avatar No Clue

    “Interestingly the UK actually shows up on the Top 10 list, which is largely due to the impact of TalkTalk and BT’s respective IPTV and YouView based platforms.”

    If that is the case i can only assume Sky and Virgin are not included in that United Kingdom (1.9m) figure. I think you will find they were doing IPTV before BT or Talk Talk and have just a few more than 1.9 million users.

    No idea who or what they are including in that IPTV figure for the UK.

  2. Avatar hmmm

    want rid of all the copper wire if you want to get decent speeds instead of been tight fisted BTOR like the coin but don’t like to fix properly like to bodge the wires instead no wonder your superfast fibre is pathetic and paying line rental for shit gear rip off Britain .

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