Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:39

Global fixed broadband subscribers exceed one billion

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There are now more than one billion fixed broadband subscribers worldwide the Broadband Forum revealed today at Broadband World Forum 2018, according to the Q2 2018 Point Topic Report,

Broadband Forum’s TR-069 protocol has been credited with playing a key role in achieving the milestone.

The achievement, confirmed by market analysis firm Point Topic, follows the release of the aforementioned report linked above "which saw the number of fixed broadband subscribers grow by 2.5% from Q1 2018, the highest surge in the last six quarters".

Broadband Forum chief executive Robin Mersh said: "This is a truly outstanding achievement, led by the communications industry, that has resulted in a major leap forward for humankind.

“Broadband connectivity is a cornerstone of modern life, and a catalyst for innovation and progress globally – I am proud of the key role that the Broadband Forum has played in facilitating this accomplishment.

"For broadband service providers, a billion installations represent an enormous opportunity for building new value on top of this foundation with new cloud-based services, enhanced efficiencies driven by virtualisation and artificial intelligence, and sensational new experiences.

“That said, passing this milestone also means that the industry is now chipping away at the remaining one billion plus potential subscribers in the world that have a thirst for broadband but have yet to be connected.

"This represents another area of huge potential opportunity and growth – both for operators seeking new markets, as well as for improvements to the quality of life of these potential subscribers.”

We're told that "Point Topic’s Q2 2018 report reveals the majority of new subscribers are now coming from less developed regions and countries. However, according to the report, growth in ARPU is being seen in developed markets, driven by improved offerings and services supported by gigabit-capable broadband".

"The research also highlights that around 80% of global connections are fiber-based – including Fiber-to-the-Home/Business/Cabinet connections – or cable-based, while ADSL connections are continuing to decline, having dropped 8% in the last year."

Oliver Johnson, chief executive, Point Topic, said: "There is no doubt that we have now hit one billion broadband subscribers, with the growth over 2018 being quite rapid.

“In more saturated broadband markets, operators are focusing on upgrades to support gigabit broadband as they prepare to meet the requirements of new technologies such as IoT and the needs of more demanding consumers.

“What is also interesting is that the number of broadband subscribers nearly exactly correlates with installations of the Broadband Forum’s TR-069 protocol, which currently sits at nearly one billion deployments.

"This shows how critical broadband standards are and the important role TR-069 has played in fostering the ecosystem and creating the mass market that stimulated broadband innovation and subscriber adoption.”

The full Point Topic Report Q2 2018 report is here

Broadband Forum is based in the US, and is "the communications industry’s leading organisation focused on accelerating broadband innovation, standards, and ecosystem development".


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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