Broadband penetration set to hit half a billion

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Broadband penetration set to hit half a billion

DSL still leading the way.

The growth of broadband internet connections is set to top more than 500 million by next year, according to researchers.

Analyst firm Futuresource Consulting said that the broadband market should reach the milestone in 2010, bringing the total number of connected households up over 500 million.

The study found that DSL connections are still far and away the most popular form of broadband connection.

Some 60 per cent of homes use the phone-line broadband method, while just 20 per cent use cable broadband connections.

Researchers found that the fastest broadband speeds were found in Japan and South Korea, where the average connection rate was roughly 30Mb/s. The US, by comparison, logged an average speed of just 2.7Mb/s.

In Europe, Sweden posted the fastest broadband speeds with an average connection of 14Mb/s.

Going forward, analysts believe that much of the future growth will take place in developing markets rather than the traditional market of developed countries where broadband is firmly established.

"Although markets in many developed countries are becoming saturated, alternative hot spots are starting to emerge: our research shows Africa and the Middle East will experience spikes this year that equate to 33 per cent growth," said Futuresource senior market analyst Patrik Pfandler.

"Longer term, India is the country to watch out for over the next four years. With one of the lowest household penetration rates for fixed broadband at the moment, at just over 2 per cent or five million subscribers, the market is projected to grow five-fold by 2013, to almost 25 million lines."

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