There are about 875 million fixed broadband subscriptions worldwide. The figure rose by 2.3% in the first quarter of 2017, with most of the additions in eastern Asia. Fibre is fast increasing its share of connections compared to copper and cable networks. China has by far the largest fixed broadband deployment of any country, with over 300 million subscribers.
In the 12 months to the end of the first quarter of 2017, China added 76 million fibre to the home connections, which is almost double the total number of fixed broadband subscribers in Japan.
Point Topic provides the numbers in its Global Broadband Statistics, providing data on more than 120 countries.
It reported there were 875 million fixed broadband subscribers globally, which is 62 million more than a year previously. However, the growth of 20 million in the first quarter of 2017 was less than the gain of 35 million in the same quarter the previous year.
China leads the world in broadband, with over a third of all connections, almost three times as many as the United States. The United Kingdom ranks seventh, behind Japan, Germany, France and the Russian Federation.
Fibre dominates connections in Asia, whereas copper and cable still predominate elsewhere.
Globally, fibre to the home is used by more broadband subscribers than cable. With an increasing number of fibre network upgrades to gigabit rates being announced regularly by operators worldwide, this trend is likely to continue. As the same time, a number of cable providers especially in Canada and the United States are responding with DOCSIS 3.1 deployments also capable of gigabit rates.
In terms of annual changes, the number of copper lines globally fell by 7%, while fibre to the home connections increased by 40%, driven by large-scale deployments in China.
Mobile broadband, using 4G networks, are also increasingly being used instead of fixed network connections, notably in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.