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Report: Broadband To Continue Rapid Worldwide Growth

Broadband-subscriber growth on a worldwide basis is expected to be driven heavily by DSL in Asia-Pacific markets and by cable in North America, according to a new report.

The Yankee Group is predicting broadband global Internet-access growth of 35 million subscribers this year, 43 million for both 2005 and 2006, and more than 46 million in each of the following two years. Overall, the market-research firm predicts there will be 325 million broadband subscribers by 2008--up from about 100 million at the end of 2003.

"Despite the downturn in telecom spending the past few years," said firm's Broadband Access Technologies senior analyst Lindsay Schroth in a statement, "providers are expanding access networks and attracting new broadband subscribers with a variety of access technologies."

Schroth took note of the growth of broadband wireless technologies, too, observing that this currently accounts for about 2.3 percent of the broadband market in Europe and Asia-Pacific. It will capture 8 percent of the market by 2008.

The report predicts that cable will maintain its lead in North America, while DSL will be adding between 25 and 30 million subscribers annually, worldwide. In all, the report predicts that 200 million of the world's 325 broadband subscribers will be using DSL by 2008.