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State of Broadband Report 2014

Paul Budde

Last Sunday I attended the 10th meeting of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development in New York, where we launched this new report — State of Broadband Report 2014. Here are some of the highlights of the report.

Over 50% of the global population will have Internet access within three years' time, with mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets now the fastest growing technology in human history, according to the 2014 edition of the State of Broadband report.

More than 40% of the world's people are already online, with the number of Internet users rising from 2.3 billion in 2013 to 2.9 billion by the end of this year.

Over 2.3 billion people will access mobile broadband by end 2014, climbing steeply to a predicted 7.6 billion within the next five years. There are now over three times as many mobile broadband connections as there are conventional fixed broadband subscriptions. The popularity of broadband-enabled social media applications continues to soar, with 1.9 billion people now active on social networks.

High-Speed Mobile – By the end of 2019, there may be 5.6 billion smartphone subscriptions.
Source: Ericsson Mobility Report June 2014.

Produced annually by the UN Broadband Commission, The State of Broadband is a unique global snapshot of broadband network access and affordability, with country-by country data measuring broadband access against key advocacy targets set by the 54 members of the Broadband Commission.

The Republic of Korea continues to have the world's highest household broadband penetration at over 98%, up from 97% last year. Monaco now surpasses last year's champion, Switzerland, as the world leader in fixed broadband penetration, at over 44% of the population. There are now four economies (Monaco, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands) where penetration exceeds 40%, up from just one (Switzerland) in 2013.

The US ranks 19th globally in terms of number of people online, ahead of other OECD countries like Germany (20th) and Australia (21st), but behind the United Kingdom (12th), Japan (15th) and Canada (16th). The US has slid from 20th to 24th place for fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, just behind Japan but ahead of Macao (China) and Estonia.

In total, there are now 77 countries where over 50% of the population is online, up from 70 in 2013. The top ten countries for Internet use are all located in Europe, with Iceland ranked first in the world with 96.5% of people online. The lowest levels of Internet access are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa, with Internet available to less than 2% of the population in Ethiopia (1.9%), Niger (1.7%), Sierra Leone (1.7%), Guinea (1.6%), Somalia (1.5%), Burundi (1.3%), Eritrea (0.9%) and South Sudan (no data available). The list of the ten least-connected nations also includes Myanmar (1.2%) and Timor Leste (1.1%).

Other highlights of the meeting included a special session on new business models for the Internet age featuring Craig Barratt (VP, Google) and Yael McGuire (Director of Engineering, Facebook), discussions on new regulatory models led by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and African Development Bank Vice President Alex Rugamba, and contributions from other special guests including AT&T;Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson and World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

The Commission's advocacy around the importance of broadband has seen the number of countries with a National Broadband Plan in place grow from 102 in 2010, when the Commission began its work, to 140 today, according to the new report.

I will report more on the various activities in and around the UN events in New York over coming days.

Download a free copy of the report.

By Paul Budde, Managing Director of Paul Budde Communication – Paul is also a contributor of the Paul Budde Communication blog located hereVisit Page
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