2012 Global Broadband - The Fibre Future Looks Bright

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Last updated: 19 Jun 2012 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 146

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Publication Overview

This report provides a valuable overview of trends and developments for the global fixed broadband sector. The report analyses the key market segments and issues impacting upon this sector; the major players; emerging trends and the importance of broadband for social and economic reasons. It explores key issues and opportunities and provides analyses, statistics, forecasts and trends.

Subjects include:

  • The importance of broadband for social and economic development;
  • The role and activities of The Broadband Commission;
  • Broadband infrastructure and the GFC;
  • National Broadband Networks;
  • The importance of a trans-sector approach;
  • Open networks as a key element for transformation;
  • Key global broadband and FttH statistics;
  • Regional overviews and statistics for North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Key developments:

The next step in broadband infrastructure is fibre-based deployment and some countries well and truly have this underway. Australia was the first country to get the (national purpose) vision right, thanks to government leadership and a national broadband network is currently being deployed. The USA soon followed and the EU (Digital Agenda for Europe), New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Sweden are showing real leadership as well. Economic and trans-sector innovations are now key items on the political agenda of these countries.

Examples of companies mentioned in this report:

China Telecom; China Unicom; NTT; Comcast (cable), AT&T (DSL); Deutsche Telekom; Time Warner (cable); Orange (France Telecom); Telecom Italia; Verizon (DSL); Prodigy; BT etc.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information, insights and key statistics on the global and regional fixed broadband sector.

Researcher:- Kylie Wansink
Current publication date:- June 2012 (9th Edition)

Executive Summary

Fast broadband becoming a necessity for society

BuddeComm’s annual publication Global Broadband – The Fibre Future Looks Bright, gives the latest insights into the global developments surrounding fixed broadband. The report includes broad statistical information and insights into broadband development around the world.

It explores the growing importance of fast broadband for social and economic reasons and focuses on the importance of a trans-sector approach. In addition it provides unique insights into national broadband networks based on observing the developments occurring in the leading markets around the world.

Regional overviews and statistics for North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific, are also provided, written by BuddeComm’s Senior Analysts.

There are many excellent government broadband initiatives and innovative commercial projects taking place and today the policies of over 40 countries include acknowledgement of the national importance of broadband for their social and economic development.

With this understanding having been established, it becomes easier to develop the right policies for the development of broadband infrastructure as well as for other social and economic policies. Until now there has been no coordination between sector-based policies and regulation. Some countries do not allow their electricity companies and telecommunication companies to share infrastructure; in most countries e-health is not covered by health insurance schemes; and some of the education-based systems date back to the Middle Ages and need a total rethink and overhaul.

All of this requires a whole-of-government approach and it would be beneficial if governments were to show leadership.

At the same time the technology is advancing relentlessly, and the democratisation processes that these changes are going to bring with them are enormous. People will become much more directly and personally involved in these developments. They will no longer be passive bystanders, waiting to be told what they can do, or what products and services they can use, by vested interests operating according to decades-old structures designed to further their own political or commercial position.

People will demand better customer experiences because they know that these are achievable, and they will choose to deal with organisations that offer more assertive, interactive and personal services.

The future looks very bright. Access to broadband will empower people to look for better jobs, to achieve better business results, and to seek better healthcare and education – all the critical elements needed to build an improved more transparent, equitable, prosperous and caring global society.

The Asia-Pacific region is leading the charge towards faster broadband and has the highest fibre broadband penetration in the world, followed by North America. Asia-Pacific represents the majority of worldwide fibre broadband subscribers and is led by the key markets of China, Japan and South Korea. The European broadband market has also seen a considerable evolution during the past two years or so, epitomised by the migration to higher-data services and from copper-based networks to fibre.

It has become well accepted that broadband offers enormous social benefits and in some cases is becoming a human right.

Market Highlights

  • With more and more video applications being used in ever increasing broader markets; there is a widespread interest in upgrading to higher-speed services;
  • It is important that an NBN infrastructure company is seen as a regulated basic national infrastructure provider and not as a telecommunications company;
  • It is also important to note that applications will come and go, and they will continually improve, but the NBN infrastructure at its most fundamental level should be sustainable, lasting near-forever, and incurring only routine, periodic improvements along the way.
  • An NBN should be based on an open network approach and this makes it possible to offer the basic infrastructure on a utility basis to content and service providers, and this paves the way for the development of the digital economy.
  • In 2012 there are around 2.3 billion households with Internet access and around 35% of these will have access to fixed broadband.
  • Broadband availability and speed are strong drivers in an economy.
  • In both Canada and the US, broadband has become one of the fastest growing sectors of the telecoms market.
  • Most governments in Europe have used public funds to upgrade broadband infrastructure.
  • Fibre bandwidth in Africa increased 100-fold in three years, with further investments of US$20 billion required.
  • Large scale fibre rollouts, particularly in the Gulf region, are being matched with increased international bandwidth.
  • More and more countries in Latin America are adopting national broadband plans
  • Australia is a unique example of where the government’s vision for the National Broadband Network (NBN) has received widespread support.

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