Global broadband internet connections will reach 500 million by next year, according to new research from Futuresource Consulting.
The analyst firm said that DSL connections are still by far 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 connections.
The fastest broadband speeds were found in Japan and South Korea, where the average connection rate was roughly 30Mbit/s. The US, by comparison, logged an average speed of just 2.7Mbit/s.
Sweden posted the fastest broadband speeds in Europe, with an average connection of 14Mbit/s.
Futuresource believes that much of the future growth will take place in developing markets, rather than developed countries where broadband is firmly established.
"Although markets in many developed countries are becoming saturated, alternative hotspots are starting to emerge. Our research shows that 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 two 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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