If you believe, as I do, that symmetrical super-fast broadband internet access is a significant catalyst for a nation's socioeconomic development, then you will likely acknowledge that the Asia-Pacific region global leadership is a key performance indicator (KPI) of future economic prosperity and growth.
As a result, the balance of economic power and influence is shifting to the New East, away from the Old West. While North American and Western European policymakers talk of launching new broadband initiatives, the leading Asian nations have been busy investing in superior infrastructure.
Broadband-Enabled Socioeconomic Momentum
Broadband has passed a key milestone, according to the latest market study by Point Topic.
The global total of broadband subscribers reached over 600 million in the first quarter of 2012, indicating a further acceleration in some nations -- resulting in growth, as over 100 million new lines were added (20 percent of the total) in less than 18 months.
Globally, the growth in broadband during the first quarter of 2012 was estimated at 16,118,210 internet access lines -- that's up from just over 14 million in the last quarter of 2011.
This growth represents a quarterly rise of 2.7 percent and an annual increase of 11.48 percent.
How the New East Leads the Old West
Asia continues to be the leading high-speed Internet access region of the world -- with 262,080,147 broadband subscribers in total, having added 8,575,397 new lines at a growth rate of 3.38 percent in the quarter and 15.19 percent in the year.
Few changes have emerged in the Top 20 Broadband Nation Rankings. That being said, Russia, Brazil and India all continue to show above average growth rates both in the quarter and annually, with Ukraine and Turkey also showing high growth.
China has the highest number of new subscribers, by far, with annual growth of 26.4 million (19.17 percent annual growth rate). The highest annual growth rates are Russia's at 27.43 percent and Ukraine's at 26.82 percent -- with China, India and Brazil also posting double-digit annual increases.
The five Asian countries in the top 20, together, serve 239 million broadband subscribers -- that's more than one-third of the global total. If you want to experience broadband-enabled economic prosperity in action, look to the East for the market performance results that matter most.