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Broadband's Role in Economic Development

Broadband Internet access is gradually becoming a defining characteristic of advanced industrialized economies, and broadband take rates have been increasing at a rapid pace across the world.

The latest update to ABI Research's online Broadband Subscribers Database forecasts that the total number of DSL and cable broadband users in the world will grow by an average of 9 percent annually over the next five years to reach 480 million subscribers by 2012.

"The Asia-Pacific region offers a potentially huge market to tap into," says broadband research analyst Serene Fong, of ABI Research's Asia bureau. "In terms of statistical benchmarking, the subscriber base in the Asia-Pacific region will grow substantially over the next five years, and is expected to outperform other areas. Much of the Asia-Pacific growth is expected to be fueled by the flourishing Chinese broadband market."

Telco broadband DSL will continue to be the fastest growing sector in the industry, as opposed to cable broadband. Asia-Pacific research director and general manager Jake Saunders comments, "DSL is set for stronger growth than cable across the globe mainly because it is able to leverage existing telecommunications infrastructure, leading to lower prices and greater ease of deployment."

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