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With Half a Billion Subscribers Broadband Is Truly Turning the World into Global Village

September 21, 2010

By Madhubanti Rudra, TMCnet Contributor

In the heart of today’s “connected lifestyle” there is Broadband Forum (News - Alert). Along with the IP/MPLS Forum, the Broadband Forum is the responsible body for end-to-end multi-service architecture development and network specifications and defines next generation solutions for access, mobile backhaul, business services, IPTV (News - Alert), gaming and other applications.

The organization currently comprises of around 200 members of the world's leading service providers, equipment manufacturers, chip vendors and other key organizations. At its quarterly meeting in Hong Kong, this week, Broadband Forum provided its global Broadband and IPTV Industry Update. According to the report, the industry has achieved a major milestone in July 2010 with the number of subscriber lines passing the 500 million mark.

Research by industry analysts Point Topic ( pinpointed the actual date as being in the third week in July and the Broadband Forum will mark the occasion with a Milestone Celebration later this week. Statistics show that global broadband subscribers reached 498 million lines (497,768,162) by the end of June 2010, representing a 2.6 percent growth in the quarter and 11.9 percent in the last 12 months to end of Q2 2010.

Half a billion fixed broadband lines and it has taken just 11 years to achieve this milestone. The Internet has not only brought the world closer together, it has dramatically improved health and education standards. According to the research firm, Point topic, Internet introduced “an era of cooperation and information sharing that will hasten economic growth and improve standards of living for potentially billions around the world.”

The research highlighted a few interesting facts about the broadband and IPTV industry. As for instance, the study said that broadband growth continued throughout the regions, while some countries like China led the market. It also found that IPTV is taking root in more countries with Europe still remaining the most established region for IPTV with almost 19 million subscribers, of which almost half are in France. China (with Hong Kong and Macau) had the most net additions this quarter – 421,000 – ranking it second, with USA in third place with almost 6.5 million subscribers.

“This is an extremely significant milestone and it reflects the critical importance of broadband in our daily lives, both for business and leisure. The Forum is already looking ahead to the next half billion lines and the challenges and opportunities that such rapid global growth can present,” Robin Mersh, Chief Executive Officer of the Broadband Forum, said.

The CEO pointed out that while it is a time to celebrate, the industry should work hard to identify the challenges that may arise and work out solutions for solving the issues before they arise.

“Today is a day to celebrate, but we continue to work towards strategic broadband evolution goals and our work on IPv6 and helping service providers to support its integration is part of our role in anticipating and solving the issues before they arise. This is the one of the key initiatives that is paving the way for the next milestone to be achieved,” Mersh pointed out.

Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Ed Silverstein


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