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Global - Broadband - Statistical Overview

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Last updated: 26 Jun 2009 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 10

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Synopsis

By the end of In 2010 there will be well over 500 million broadband subscribers worldwide. DSL continues to be the most popular access technology around the world – however its market share will slowly be eroded by FttH in the years to come. On a regional level, Western Europe still has the largest share of broadband subscribers worldwide. This report presents key global statistics for broadband including overall global subscribers; regional share of broadband subscribers and top 10 countries. The report also includes OECD statistics such as top countries by broadband penetration and top countries by broadband subscribers. Global statistics on broadband access technologies are provided as well as preliminary data on broadband speeds and prices. The report also comprises global broadband revenue statistics.

Trans-sector approach to broadband infrastructure

The financial crisis has led to a major rethink on how the various political, social and economic systems operate. Telecoms investments play a key role in most economic stimulus packages. A major requirement in new telecoms infrastructure is that they be based on trans-sectoral thinking, which will create a multiplier effect to benefit healthcare, education, energy and the environment, as well as commerce, media and communications in general. BuddeComm has been involved in generating government policies around open networks, structural separation and trans-sectoral developments on three continents.

If we build new telecoms infrastructure we should make use of the multiplier effect that digital infrastructure has to offer in areas such as healthcare, education, climate change and energy. The same broadband infrastructure can be used simultaneously for all those sectors.

A trans-sectoral approach should also be taken when looking at other infrastructure developments – look at combining roads, electricity, water, gas and telecoms projects. When stringing electricity cable, why not include a fibre link? When replacing sewerage facilities, include a fibre cable at the same time.

Once it has been established that networks can be built differently it will be necessary to work out how it can be done. The main problem is that most incumbents use vertically-integrated business models. This enables them to ‘game’ the often extremely complex regulatory systems. They control the infrastructure and the wholesale and retail markets. And they can juggle their data between these sectors, making it almost impossible for any government or regulator to get a clear picture of how their incumbent’s system works.

For the last few decades most governments have made strong commitments to competition and innovation and they are very frustrated by how little progress their policies have generated in the telecoms sector. After all those years the incumbents still rule the roost.

For more than a decade regulators have tried to regulate prices and access, and despite truckloads of expert reports most countries have made very little progress.

In frustration governments have moved on to the next level, which involves separation of the infrastructure from the services – close to a dozen countries have now moved in that direction. Separation can also be carried out voluntarily, but the reality is that unless the government/regulator wields a big stick there won’t be a great deal of voluntary action taken by incumbents.

For further information, see separate reports:

 HYPERLINK "http://www.budde.com.au/Research/Global-Recovery-will-Depend-on-Trans-Sector-Vision.html" Global Recovery will Depend on Trans-Sector Vision;

 HYPERLINK "http://www.budde.com.au/Research/Global-Fast-broadband-and-Trans-sector-policies.html" Global - Fast broadband and Trans-sector policies;

 HYPERLINK "http://www.budde.com.au/Research/Global-National-Broadband-Trans-sector-developments-in-Australia-New-Zealand.html" Global - National Broadband & Trans-sector developments in Australia & New Zealand.

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