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China Is Overtaking The U.S. In Broadband Deployment Race

China is overtaking the U.S. in number of broadband subscribers and is expected to only trail the U.S. marginally at the end of this year, according to a new report. The market research firm expects China to pass the U.S. by the end of 2007 and then continue to pull away after that.

The market research firm said Wednesday that it expects China to have 34 million broadband subscribers at the end of 2005 compared with 39 million in the U.S. By the end of 2007, iSuppli predicted China will have 57 million subscribers to 54 million for the U.S. After that, iSupply expects China's huge population advantage will propel the Asian firm farther ahead of the U.S.

"To stay competitive both technologically and economically, nations must remain at the cutting edge of broadband deployment," said iSuppli's Steve Rago in a statement. He is the firm's principal analyst, Networking and Optical Communications and head of its Broadband and Digital Home service.

iSuppli said the tables may turn and the U.S. could gain new momentum in broadband deployment as regulatory restrictions and taxation measures are relaxed in the U.S. and as important political figures including President Bush promote the spread of broadband in the U.S.