Research sees U.S. making gains in broadband penetration

Germany, Sweden, and the U.S. are expected to experience the greatest rate of broadband penetration growth in the world during the next five years, according to market research company Point Topic.

The number of worldwide fixed broadband lines will be 680 million in 2013, compared to about 400 million lines now.

The increase will represent a 10.8 percent per year compound growth rate, down from 27.7 percent per year in the period between 2004 to 2008 period, but still substantial, according to Point Topic.

Broadband penetration in the U.S. will go from 24.9 percent to 35.9 percent in 2013, counting penetration on a population basis.

Germany, which has been rather lagging in broadband until recently, is expected to gain most of all; increasing take-up from 26.4 percent to 42.4 percent in the same time period.

Denmark is expected to remain on top, going from 37 percent to 46.3 percent, according to Point Topic.

Even though broadband penetration will continue to grow in the U.S., it won't be the largest country in terms of number of lines. China is forecast to be well in front as the biggest broadband country, with 153 million broadband lines against 117 million in the U.S. In fact China is expected to zoom past the U.S. by the end of the year, according to Point Topic.

Like most areas broadband deployment won't be immune to the current economic climate, and the effects are expected to last through the whole of 2009. The impact will be felt more heavily in the U.S., the U.K., South Korea, Australia and Hungary than in the other industrial economies.

What the eventual effects will be is still too early to tell. When the forecasts from Point Topic are updated, in six months time, it will be possible to make the first assessment of how much the broadband market has been affected, according to the market research company.

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