news IT market intelligence provider Point Topic has released new figures revealing that the numbers of people using fixed broadband globally climbed in the third quarter of 2015, with the numbers using copper-based technologies to connect taking a sharp downturn and fibre rapidly on the way up.
Overall, 738 million premises globally now have fixed broadband connections, with fibre-based (FTTH) systems being responsible for much of that rise.
Quarterly growth of fixed broadband subscribers picked up by 1.36% compared both to Q2 2015 and Q3 2014, the firm said. Furthermore, it was the second-highest figure in the last six quarters, with a peak to over 740 million in Q1 2014 being an exception.
Notably, it is the second quarter in succession that FTTH has dominated as the most popular choice for broadband access, with levels exceeding those of end-to-end copper subscribers globally. From Q3 2014 to Q3 2015, FTTH subscriptions surged by 57% with FTTx (mixed fibre formats) also climbing 14.4%.
However, there was a 15% decline in end-to-end copper connections over the same period – a decline that is accelerating, according to Point Topic. People using satellite connections have also increased (10%), as did those using wireless with 17.1%
Regionally, growth this quarter was driven mostly by parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The nation with the greatest impact on the rise in FTTH take-up is once again China, which has over 200 million subscribers overall. However, the Americas also saw their fibre share increase in Q3 2015, mainly down to the US and Canada.
The US became only the second country to have exceeded 100 million broadband connections in Q3 – the last quarter for which figures are available – and it will be some time before lower-ranking countries are able to reach the same figure.
Japan and Germany are in third and fourth place, respectively, both with less than 50 million subscribers. Moving downwards, France, the Russian Federation, the UK, Brazil, South Korea and India complete the bottom portion of the top 10 broadband-using nations.