October 23, 2018

Fixed broadband subscribers pass one billion: “A major leap forward for humankind”

By Lucy Ingham

The number of fixed broadband subscribers worldwide has now passed one billion for the first time.

The landmark number of subscribers, which was announced by the industry non-profit Broadband Forum following confirmation from market analysis firm Point Topic, follows 2.5% growth in the second quarter of 2018, the highest jump in six quarters.

The news, which was announced today at Broadband World Forum 2018 in Berlin, Germany, has been hailed as a major step in the rollout of high-speed internet.

“This is a truly outstanding achievement, led by the communications industry, that has resulted in a major leap forward for humankind,” said Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh.

“Broadband connectivity is a cornerstone of modern life, and a catalyst for innovation and progress globally – I am proud of the key role that the Broadband Forum has played in facilitating this accomplishment.”

Less developed regions driving growth in fixed broadband subscribers

Less developed regions of the world have been key to the growth, with the majority of new subscriptions coming from these areas.

However, there is still considerable potential for growth in fixed broadband subscribers in these areas.

“Passing this milestone also means that the industry is now chipping away at the remaining one billion plus potential subscribers in the world that have a thirst for broadband but have yet to be connected,” said Mersh.

“This represents another area of huge potential opportunity and growth – both for operators seeking new markets, as well as for improvements to the quality of life of these potential subscribers.”

“In more saturated broadband markets, operators are focusing on upgrades to support gigabit broadband as they prepare to meet the requirements of new technologies such as IoT and the needs of more demanding consumers,” added Oliver Johnson, CEO, Point Topic.

The report by Point Topic also shows that fibre and cable broadband are the most popular types of fixed broadband connection, while ADSL is in decline, with an 8% drop in 2017.

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