The global adoption of broadband and IPTV continues to soar, despite the harsh economic environment, according to the latest figures from the Broadband Forum.
The report, prepared by analyst firm Point Topic, revealed that 16.6 million new broadband lines were added in the first quarter of 2009, to reach a total of 429.2 million worldwide. IPTV subscribers, meanwhile, have grown to nearly 24 million, with most of the growth coming from Europe and the US.
"This report shows that, despite the economic situation the world is facing, the demand for broadband and IPTV continues apace as people everywhere look to improve the quality and speed of their communications," said George Dobrowski, chairman and president of the Broadband Forum.
Twenty countries grew their broadband connections by 10 per cent or more in the first quarter. Connections in Western Europe overall grew 2.63 per cent to just over 108 million, while eastern Europe saw a rise in IPTV services, particularly in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Russia.
"Growth is high in eastern Europe because IPTV take up is still relatively low compared to regions such as North America and Asia Pacific," said John Bonsell, a senior analyst with Point Topic.
"This is good news for operators and subscribers, because there is plenty of potential for growth coupled with a wide range of IPTV services, so cost should remain low."
DSL continues to be the most popular broadband access technology, although fibre grew by more than three million lines to achieve a 12.4 per cent share of the market. Wireless also showed a healthy proportionate increase, swelling by over one million lines to a total of 5.58 million.
"The Broadband Forum continues to drive broadband innovation, and with the release of BroadbandSuite 3.0, which provides new IPTV management and fibre integration tools, we continue to ensure that the industry has all the tools and specifications it needs to optimise networks and capture the full potential of broadband worldwide," said Dobrowski.
"Our capability has been enhanced by the recent union with the IP/MPLS Forum, which gives us a much greater end-to-end capability to serve the industry."
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