Global broadband subscribers have now reached the milestone of 400 million, according to a report prepared for the Broadband Forum by industry analysts, Point Topic.
In 1998, there were just 57,200 broadband subscribers globally. Only a year later, this number had increased by nearly six times over to 280,890 subscribers worldwide. DSL quickly became the most popular choice of delivery. The past ten years has seen a 600,000 percentage increase in the number of subscribers – 300% in the last five years alone – that now tops the 400 million mark.
Over the same period, access technology has evolved to include fibre, which began in 2002 with 18,000 subscribers. Fibre now delivers broadband services to over 45 million people across the globe.
Oliver Johnson, Senior Analyst with Point Topic, explains in a statement, “When Point Topic started researching broadband in 1998 it was still mostly in the technical trial stage. Getting to 400 million subscribers in the ten years since then, has been one of the fastest rollouts of a major new technology the world has ever seen. Now we’re in the early days of a new era, which is going to be much more about quality than quantity.
“The emphasis is now going to shift to providing high bandwidth, high quality broadband, that can deliver multiple, steady, pin-sharp images for applications. To do this, we’ve got to have advanced global standards for end-to-end delivery of broadband data streams. This is exactly what the Broadband Forum, working with other standards organsations, is doing, and we believe its role is going to be even more important in the next decade than it has been in the last ten years,” adds Oliver.
The Forum journey has mirrored these industry developments over the past 15 years, evolving from the ADSL Forum, to the DSL Forum, and finally to the Broadband Forum, each time expanding its scope and remit to fit the needs of the industry. Planning for the future, focusing on IPTV, fiber access, Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) and Energy Efficiency (EE) are all high on the agenda.