North America and the US are the heaviest users of the Internet, surpassing Europe and Asia according to a recent study. Despite remaining in 15th place overall in broadband penetration (OECD 2009), the US leads the world in broadband users, and is essentially tied for second with France in overall usage, behind only South Korea. Among active Internet users, broadband penetration in US homes jumped to 94.45% in November 2009.
Bulgaria leads the EU in broadband penetration growth with an annual growth rate of over 228%. The closest competitor, the Czech Republic is 40 percentage points behind at 181.8%. For overall uptake, Denmark and the Netherlands came in a virtual tie for the European broadband penetration crown at 37.1%. With its faster growth rate, the Netherlands is poised to pass Denmark to have the highest broadband penetration in Europe.
Japan has the highest percentage of fiber-optic subscribers to broadband in the world. Nearly 48% of broadband subscribers use fiber-optic connections in Japan, well above the OECD average of 10% worldwide. At its current growth rate, more than half of Japan’s broadband lines will be on fiber-optic networks by the summer of 2009. Meanwhile, US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 93.44% in April.
The UK has dropped from 13th to 14th place in broadband penetration worldwide, during the last quarter of 2008. The US dropped out of the top 20 entirely during the same time period, according to a recent Point Topic survey. Meanwhile US broadband penetration dropped to 93.13% among active Internet users. This is the second month in a row that US broadband penetration has fallen.
The popularity of Apple’s streaming media players is rapidly approaching Microsoft’s. According to a recent survey of streaming media usage, the market share of Apple’s iTunes and QuickTime players grew from 32% in January 2008 to 36.4% in January 2009, while Microsoft’s Media Player was unchanged at 50.7%. Most of this gain was due to the increasing popularity of iTunes. Meanwhile broadband lines grew by 20% to 110.5 million lines in Europe over the past year. In the US, broadband growth slowed to its lowest level in seven years, while penetration crept up to 59% overall.
President-elect Obama is calling for a massive $850 billion or more economic stimulus package to jump start the US economy and rebuild neglected infrastructure. As part of this plan the Obama administration has pledged to deploy next-generation broadband to every community in America. What the new administration has not offered is more specifics on their plan to achieve broadband for all. The Free Press has put forth a $44 billion plan to achieve universal broadband availability for the United States.
The UK will pass Canada in broadband penetration for the top spot among G7 countries in 2008. The UK’s higher growth rate will propel them past Canada in late 2008, according to projections by Website Optimization. While the US showed a higher growth rate in year over year broadband uptake, it remains in 15th place worldwide in broadband penetration. Japan and Korea now have more broadband subscribers on fiber than on DSL or cable. Among active Internet users, broadband penetration in the US grew to 91.8% in September 2008, up 0.26 percentage points over last month.
Over the past two quarters (Q1 2008 to Q2 2008) US broadband penetration among the general population dropped from 17th to 19th overall among all countries surveyed worldwide. As of the second quarter of 2008, Monaco leads all countries surveyed with 40.63% of the population on broadband and 100% of households (see Figures 1 & 2), according to Point Topic.
YouTube continues to dominate the top video sites tracked by Nielsen Online. Updating last year’s top 10 video site survey this year we find YouTube even further ahead of its nearest “competitor,” Google. As of July 2008, YouTube had more than 7.5 times more unique viewers than Google Video. Combined together, Google properties YouTube and Google Video have over 88 million unique viewers, and make up over 36% of the share of videos viewed on the Internet. A recent study by the Communications Workers of America revealed that the US ranks 15th worldwide in broadband speed. In other news, US broadband penetration crept up 0.27 percentage points to 90.76% in July 2008.
US broadband penetration growth dropped from 15th to 17th place worldwide, from June 2007 to December 2007. Overall, US broadband penetration remained at 15th place among all countries surveyed, according to the OECD. The slower growth of US broadband appears to be due to a lack of choice for consumers, an overreliance on cable, and low DSL and fiber penetration. Meanwhile, US broadband penetration rose 0.43 percentage points to 89.3% among active Internet users.