Broadband access continues to demonstrate sustained growth.
Fixed-broadband has a significant impact on the world economy. An increase of 1 per cent in fixed-broadband penetration has been found to be associated with an increase in 0.08 per cent in gross domestic product (GDP), on average. This impact is guided by a return to scale effect, according to which the economic impact of fixed-broadband is higher in more developed countries than in less developed countries.
In 2018, there were more fixed-broadband connections (1.1 billion) than fixed-telephone connections (942 million). Growth in fixed-broadband subscriptions has been sustained, with the penetration rate going up from 3.4 per 100 inhabitants in 2005 to 14.1 in 2018.
Fixed-broadband subscriptions by speed, by level of development, 2015–2017
In 2017, 96 per cent of fixed-broadband subscriptions had a download speed of at least 2 Mbit/s. Furthermore, 82 per cent of subscriptions had advertised speeds of more than 10 Mbit/s in 2017, up from 63 per cent in 2015. In 42 per cent of countries, more than half of fixed-broadband subscriptions had a download speed of more than 10 Mbit/s. While subscriptions for the lowest speed tier (≥256 kbit/s to <2 Mbit/s) have virtually disappeared from developed countries, it is still very much a reality in LDCs, where in 2017 30 per cent of fixed-broadband connections were still at speeds below 2 Mbit/s. But it is in rapid decline, given that, in only two years, the share was halved from 60 to 30 per cent.
Global fixed-broadband subscriptions, by speed, 2015–2017
Indicator 17.6.2 is the global indicator for SDG 17.6: Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism.
The data can be found in the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database and in the UN SDG Indicators database. The Metadata are also available on the UN website.