March of global broadband defies the economy

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March of global broadband defies the economy

One in five households worldwide will have a broadband connection by the end of this year, according to a new report from Gartner.

The analyst firm said that people are persisting with the internet despite the tough economic climate, and that some 422 million households will be wired by the end of 2009. This number is expected to rise to 580 million by the end of 2013.

"Consumers may be watching their household expenditure, but dropping their broadband connections is not on the top of their agendas as a way to reduce outgoings," said Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"Multiple motivations are conspiring to keep broadband growth strong, such as PCs being more affordable, migration from dial-up, affordably priced broadband subscriptions, ageing populations requiring broadband connectivity, and even as a result of an economic boost from country-specific economic and broadband-specific stimulus plans."

The country with the most connected homes is South Korea, where some 86 per cent of all residences are hooked up to the internet. The lowest is Indonesia with just one per cent. However, it is these emerging markets that will contribute most to the predicted growth, according to Gartner.

China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa will all see twice as many new connections as their more developed neighbours, the analyst explained. Closer to home, the UK is expected to add another three million connections by 2013.

While home users will benefit from better faster connections, the service providers and hardware and equipment manufacturers aligned to the industry will also profit.

"Equipment manufacturers (modems, routers and PCs) and providers of carrier infrastructure will benefit by having more connections to supply equipment and services," said Sabia.

"Government, medical and educational institutions alike will have alternative access to their customers via the household broadband connection."

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