Eastern Europe and the MEA regions (Middle East and Africa) are out to challenge that perception of few lines and low impact, Point Topic points out. Both regions grew by around 14% in Q1 2006. Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria showed impressive growth rates of between 147% and 186% year-on-year. They all kept their momentum in Q1 2006, gaining subscribers considerably faster than the world average of 7.7%. As a net result, Estonia and Slovenia have come close to breaking into the lower ranks of Western European countries, when it comes to the penetration of broadband services by population.
Whilst South Korea can no longer lay claim to the highest broadband population penetration in the world, having been overtaken by the Netherlands, Denmark and Iceland in Q4 2005, its broadband market is all gearing up for technology substitution. Fast is no longer fast enough. Subscribers to FTTx services here have grown by 17.9% in Q1 2006, increasing their market share to 15.2%. At the same time, the national DSL market experienced an 1.6% loss of subscribers. Cable modem services fared slightly better with a gain of just over 1.9%.