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FTTH Overtakes Cable as World Broadband Users Hit 751 Million

Monday, Apr 18th, 2016 (9:47 am) - Score 2,217

The total number of world broadband subscriptions reached 751.2 million at the end of last year, which is a quarterly Q4 2015 growth of around +1.31% (down from +1.4% in Q3 2015) and there are now more FTTH users worldwide than those using cable (e.g. Virgin Media) technologies.

According to Point Topic, regional market shares held fairly stable in Q4 2015 and East Asia (e.g. Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, China etc.) continued to attract the most quarterly net additions of new subscribers (29.95% in East Asia vs 10.08% in Eastern Europe and 18.75% in the rest of Europe).

In terms of Internet connection technology, ultrafast pure fibre optic (FTTH/P) broadband connections saw their year-on-year growth rise from a little over 56% in Q3 2015 to 60.6% at the end of 2015 and related lines are now more common than cable (DOCSIS) broadband; incidentally cable lines grew by a stable 6.9% in the final quarter of 2015.

Meanwhile hybrid-fibre broadband (e.g. FTTx / FTTC / VDSL) services also reported a fairly stable quarterly rise of 14.7%, which was followed by a 10.5% quarterly growth in wireless connections (down from 17.1% in Q3) and an 8.5% growth in Satellite (down from 10% in Q3). Apparently Italy recorded a 33% quarterly growth in VDSL subscribers and they still have more of those lines than anybody else (note: the UK has about 5.5 million, mostly via BT’s national network).

Sadly the rate of decline for old end-to-end copper line DSL broadband technologies, such as ADSL (up to 2-8Mbps) and ADSL2+ (up to 20Mbps), increased from -15% in Q3 2015 to -18.7% at the end of 2015 as consumers swapped to fibre based broadband and other methods of fast Internet connectivity.


Broadband growth continues to be strong.  Even as one technology starts to falter and tail off another starts to take off.  The one constant is the demand for bandwidth and the primary driver is still video,” said Oliver Johnson, Chief Executive at Point Topic.

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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