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Growth of Internet & Broadband

The easy and speedy availability of broadband technologies is accelerating the Internet usage throughout the world. Internet and broadband have been globally acknowledged as the foundation for transformation to a knowledge-based economy. It is also widely acknowledged that broadband infrastructure is an enabler for economic and social growth in the digital economy. Compiling statistics from a variety of reliable sources, we can estimate the total number of Internet users globally to be approximately 40% of the present world population. By sometime, one out of every two people in the world will be a user of the Internet.

World Bank studies show, quite conclusively, that in low and middle –income countries, every 10% point increase in broadband penetration accelerates economic growth by 1.38 percentage points.
We've all experienced how the Internet has changed our lives in the way we work, play and communicate with family and friends. We see how institutions are becoming more productive, offering new services and helping transform education, health care and the places we live. Now, the countries which have high internet usage penetration level are experiencing strong growth and will hit double digit growth figures.

Increase in Growth of Broadband

Several Committees on Broadband identified that broadband access is gradually gaining acceptance in world but its wide adoption and utilisation remain unevenly distributed, lagging considerably among low income groups, the elderly and people living in rural communities. According to them, the difference in adoption distribution is largely attributed to three key drivers of broadband adoption, notably: literacy, Age and Income. Companies like sky broadband has played a major part in bringing internet to every home at reasonable cost, hence acting as a contributor towards growth of Internet. Great connectivity and speed at affordable prices is what makes sky broadband the leader of broadband in UK.

Many subscribers with business and professional interest are using mobile internet dongles on their personal computers to access broadband services from their homes and offices. The committee added that educated and working class adults are beginning to have broadband experience in their workplaces, while young students in secondary and tertiary institutions are very active online and are generally fascinated with accessing broadband services on mobile devices such as smart phones, netbooks, laptops.

Challenges Hindering Broadband Deployment

Operators in the sector have identified the challenges common to them as: high costs of right of way and resulting in the high cost of lease and transmission; long delays in obtaining permits; backhaul capacity constraints; multiple and illegal regulation and taxation at Federal, State, and Local Government levels.

Other limitations include: damage to fibre infrastructure during road works; lack of reliable, clean public electricity supply and lack of major green energy initiatives and support.

The total number of fixed broadband subscriptions in developing countries surpassed those in developed countries in the first quarter of 2013, but there is still a wide gap when it comes to fixed-broadband adoption rates, with 6.1% in developing countries (and less than 1% in Sub-Saharan Africa), compared with 27.2% in developed countries.

Mobile broadband sees continuous high growth, with more than 2 billion subscriptions worldwide expected by the end of 2013. Mobile-broadband subscriptions have climbed from 268 million in 2007 to 2.1 billion in 2013.In developing countries, the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions more than doubled from 2011 to 2013 (from 472 million to 1.16 billion) and surpassed those in developed countries in 2013. Africa is the region with the highest growth rates over the past three years and mobile-broadband adoption has increased from 2% in 2010 to 11% in 2013.

Going forward, government should try to undertake three-pronged efforts to stimulate broadband adoption and utilisation, focusing on issues of awareness, affordability, and attractiveness of broadband services.