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Upside and Downside for Broadband Growth

According to Point Topic's latest market assessment, by the end of Q1 2009 there were 429.2 million broadband subscribers worldwide. This represented a 4.02 percent increase on Q4 2008 when the total was 412.6 million.

The largest number of net additions was in Q1 2007 when 19.6 million new subscribers signed up for broadband services.

Despite the recent dips in Q2 2008 and Q4 2008, the lowest number of net additions in the period shown was in Q2 2006 at 14.5 million. This was almost 14 percent less than the net additions acquired in Q1 2009 which totaled 16.6 million.

Over the 12 months to end Q1 2009, 63.5 million new broadband subscribers were added worldwide, representing 14.8 percent of total subscribers by end-Q1 2009. Global broadband population penetration was 7.4 percent by the end of Q1 2009, up 17.4 percent on the same time a year ago from 6.3 percent and up 4.2 percent on the previous quarter from 7.1 percent.

Global household penetration was 27.3 percent, up 17.7 percent from 23.3 percent in Q1 2008 and up 4.2 percent from 26.2 percent in Q4 2008.

Western Europe and South and East Asia have the largest shares of the world broadband market at 25.18 percent and 23.07 percent respectively. These were followed by North America with a 21.79 per ent share and Asia Pacific with 15 percent of the market.

The three smallest shares of the broadband market are in Latin America (6.5 percent), Eastern Europe (5 percent) and Middle East and Africa (2.94 percent).

The regions with the most mature and advanced broadband markets had the lowest growth rates during Q1 2009. They were North America (3.87 percent), Western Europe (2.63 percent) and Asia Pacific (1.83 percent). Growth was relatively low in these regions due to little potential for new growth.

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