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.
The percentage of users on broadband in the UK rose to 95.1 percent in December 2008, according the to Office for National Statistics. More than 19 of 20 connections to the Internet are via broadband in the UK, according to a survey of Internet Service Providers. Due to the high penetration rate, the quarterly report has been discontinued. Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration grew to 93.38 percent among active Internet users in January 2009.
Broadband subscribers in the UK experience an average download speed of 3.6Mbps, according to a recent survey by Ofcom (Office of Communications 2009). Among subscribers to “up to 8Mbps” broadband, UK subscribers experienced an average actual download speed of 3.6Mbps, or 45% of the headline speed. Google has just the answer to disgruntled broadband subscribers, launching a new M-Lab service to measure user connections. Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration increased to 92.8% among active Internet users.
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.