China will soon be number one for broadband

China is set to outstrip the US in fast internet penetration this year, as the number of people with access to broadband worldwide surpasses 300 million. Overall, one in six of the world population - 1.1 billion people - now have access to an internet connection.

by The Guardian
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

That still means 5.5 billion people have no internet access - and in some regions of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa, internet access is still very low and access to broadband almost zero, according to a global survey by internet consultancy Point Topic.

Only four African countries registered as having broadband access - South Africa (1.79%), Senegal (1.43%), Gabon (0.55%) and Sudan (0.05%). North Africa fares little better, with Morocco at nearly 7% and Egypt at 1.55%. South Korea remains the country with highest broadband penetration at nearly 90% of the population, while perhaps surprisingly, Indonesia enjoyed the fastest growth in broadband access at 28% in the first quarter of 2007, with other Asian countries also seeing rapidly rising access (Vietnam 24% and Philippines 23%).

Eastern Europe was also seeing a belated broadband revolution with Greece enjoying growth of 28% and Croatia at 25% in the first quarter. China is moving fast up the broadband access ranks, with 15.3% or 56m households now having access in the first quarter, leaving India far behind at 1.53% of approximately 200m households.

The expansion of access in China is in part due to a government-backed programme of extending broadband access in the countryside, combined with the swelling demand of China's urban middle classes. The US has 53% broadband access, or 60m households, just behind the UK with 55.58% of households.

China overtaking US for fast internet access as Africa gets left behind
The Guardian, June 14
Review by Joe Gill

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