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Led by a surge of broadband users in China, worldwide broadband subscriber lines have passed the 500 million mark, according to a report released Monday by the Broadband Forum.
The Broadband Forum said that China is the "powerhouse" of broadband with 43% of new broadband subscriptions added in the second quarter ending in June. According to market researcher Point Topic, broadband gains in the U.S. and Canada have slowed significantly to levels not seen in a decade.
"The end of housing stimulus packages in North America has badly affected growth in broadband," said Point Topic CEO Oliver Johnson in a statement. "It has only taken 11 years to get to half a billion fixed broadband lines. The Internet and all that it brings has taken hold like no technology since the invention of fire.
"It has brought the world closer together, improved health and education standards and introduced an era of cooperation and information sharing that will hasten economic growth and improve standards of living for potentially billions around the world."
China led the recent broadband deployment figures with nearly 5.5 new broadband lines, bringing its total to 120.6 million total lines. China and other Asian countries account for nearly 41% of the worldwide broadband count.
Although still in its infancy, IPTV subscription growth is beginning to show strong growth, according to Point Topic, which said total worldwide IPTV subscriber growth hit 38.5 million. Europe leads the IPTV category with 19 million subscribers. The US is in third place, trailing China, with 6.5 million subscribers.
The Broadband Forum noted that the growth in FTTx is outstripping both DSL and cable. The Broadband Forum is composed of more than 200 firms and organizations providing and developing broadband products and services.