TelecomWeb is reporting that the number of broadband subscribers in the world surpassed the 400 million mark in November 2008. Global broadband subscribers amounted to only 57,000 ten years ago in 1998, but are projected to exceed 680 million in another five years (2013), despite the current economic situation.
Source: Point Topic.
However, the geographical distribution of broadband subscribers is very concentrated. ITU monitors prices for fixed broadband access around the world and estimates that commercial fixed broadband access was available in some 181 countries in 2007. According to Point Topic, only forty countries account for some 98% of all global broadband subscribers presently.
Such an intense concentration of broadband subscribers (in mainly OECD countries, China and a few other countries) has strong implications for reshaping the digital divide - broadband technology offers opportunities for using advanced applications in enhanced Internet access, but Internet users in many countries may continue to be excluded from high-speed Internet access. ITU continues to monitor the development of the digital divide and is undertaking many projects to bring high-speed broadband Internet access to rural and underserved areas.
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