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Fibre Optic Surge Helps Global Fixed Broadband Subscribers Top 714 Million

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 (4:19 pm) - Score 1,308
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The latest Point Topic statistics reveal that the total number of world fixed broadband subscriptions reached 714 million at the end of last year, although the level of growth has continued to decline for three consecutive quarters. A huge surge in the uptake of ultrafast pure fibre optic (FTTH/P/B) lines has been the only real positive.

Overall world broadband subscribers increased by just 1.1% in the last quarter of 2014, which is down from 1.2% in the previous quarter and a shade under 1.4% during the quarter before that. Part of the reason for this is that some of the major developing markets, such as China, are slowly beginning to mature and that tends to have a slowing impact.

global_fixed_broadband_subscriber_growth_2014

 

global_fixed_broadband_subscriber_top_10_countries_2014

In terms of connection technology, the old style of dominant copper based ADSL broadband services (these account for around two thirds of all fixed broadband lines) have continued to decline by -9% over the past year. But copper’s loss is fibre’s gain, with pure fibre optic (FTTH/P/B) connections increasing by 58.7% over the same period and hybrid-fibre (FTTx / FTTC) solutions gaining 18.3%.

A lot of this stems from the cannibalisation of older copper connections, although many Government’s around the world are also working to deploy faster connectivity into rural areas and that is enticing new connections into the mix.

global_fixed_broadband_subscriber_growth_by_technology_2014

The study also reports that over 117.39 million users are now subscribing to IPTV (online TV services), which grew by a steady 4.1% during Q4-2014 and most of those (33.6 million) can be found in China. However the UK also shows up near the bottom of the Top 10 Countries by IPTV subscribers table with 2.4 million, which puts us just above of the Netherlands on 2.3 million.

Interestingly France continues to win the contest with the USA for second position, where subscriber totals are 15.4m and 13.3m respectively. Otherwise the East Asia region dominates the IPTV landscape with a 44.46% share of the global market, which isn’t surprising when the region includes three of the top 10 individual countries (China, South Korea and Japan).

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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.
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3 Responses
  1. Avatar Ben

    I’ve never understood how FTTC can be considered “hybrid-fibre” when really it’s still just a DSL solution brought slightly closer the house. You couldn’t get away with calling ADSL “hybrid-fibre” on the basis that it’s fibre to the exchange, so why would a cabinet be different?

    • I’d say it’s more than “slightly closer”, but experiences vary. Lest we not forget that many ISPs incorrectly reference FTTC and Cable as “fibre optic”, which is even more confusing. I’d be quite happy if we just stuck to technology names like VDSL or DOCSIS, but the marketing people.. they have other plans.

    • Avatar MikeW

      The terminology stems more from the cable world, where HFC – hybrid fibre coax – is a common, well understood, term. It enters the consciousness of the general public in other countries, especially the US and Australia.
      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_fibre-coaxial

      In this country, Virgin marketers wanted to just use the term “fibre”, and got away with it with ASA in 2008, setting the precedent for BT’s marketing too. Fibre purists, obviously, dislike this intensely.

      On websites like this, and other technologically-led forums, posters tend to use the term “hybrid fibre” as a term that encompasses architecture like HFC, fibre to a streetside cabinet, for both cable-based and DSL-based tech. It is pretty much a made-up phrase, as a reaction against the hijack of the generic “fibre” phrase by VM. IMO it sits well to distinguish cab-based fibre from both exchange-based fibre and home/building-based fibre.

      If you don’t like this, you won’t like the next one. The guys developing g.fast seem to have labeled it hybrid FTTH.

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