150.5 mln people worldwide have broadband

World broadband lines stood at 150.5 mln as of 31 Dec 2004, with a record 50 mln increase in lines overall, and 26.5m increase in the second half of 2004, Point Topic says. This represents the biggest half-year worldwide increase to date. The USA remains the world’s largest broadband country with 33.9 mln lines. Although China is in second place, it is continuing to gain ground, and added over 6.6 mln lines in the second half of 2004.

Cable modems and other broadband services grew slightly faster than DSL in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, largely due to the growth in FTTx, usually fiber-to-the-building, particularly in China and Japan.

Canada is one of the few places outside the Asia-Pacific region where cable modems showed a higher growth rate than DSL during the year, 9.5% against 8.5%. In the USA, on the other hand, the stronghold of cable modem technology, the DSL base grew by 20.1% to add 2.3 mln lines. Cable added a few more lines, at 2.5 mln, but this was only a 13.8% increase in the installed base. DSL has a majority 62% of world broadband market share compared to a 38% share made up of cable modem and other technologies.