World now has 400 million broadband subscribers

Global broadband subscribers have now reached 400 million, according to a report by industry analysts, Point Topic.

In 1998, there were 57,200 broadband subscribers globally. One year later, there were 280,890.

Access technology has evolved to include fibre, which began in 2002 with 18,000 subscribers. Fibre now delivers broadband services to more than 45 million people.

“When we started researching broadband in 1998 it was still mostly in the technical trial stage,” said Oliver Johnson, senior analyst with Point Topic. “Getting to 400 million subscribers in the ten years since then, has been one of the fastest rollouts of a major new technology the world has ever seen. Now we’re in the early days of a new era, which is going to be much more about quality than quantity.

“The emphasis is now going to shift to providing high-bandwidth, high-quality broadband, that can deliver multiple, steady, pin-sharp images for applications. To do this, we’ve got to have advanced global standards for end-to-end delivery of broadband data streams.”

The report was commissioned by the Broadband Forum, which has more than 200 member companies and has issued 100 technical reports over its 15-year history.

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