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Can we ever imagine a world without broadband?

by User Not Found | Jul 30, 2007

Can any serious internet user (ie more than half the population in the developed world) remember what it was like to "dial up" to use the Internet? Those endless frustrations over busy phone lines and dropped calls, the extortionate calling charges (in Europe at least) and that was if you could find a phone connection. And don't talk about the speed... How did we ever make use of 28k? Perhaps it's my age, once again, but to think that only six years ago that's how nearly everyone used the Internet is truly amazing. At the end of 2000, barely 1% of households subscribed to broadband service. The majority of those were in North America and Asia - Europe was really slow out of the blocks, and the UK didn't get going until 2002. But in 2007 we will reach more than 330 million broadband subs worldwide, and most surfers cannot imagine using the Internet at less than broadband speed. Dial-up still has a residual presence in a few countries, notably the US, largely because of lagging broadband availability. But in most advanced markets dial-up is fast disappearing - Strategy Analytics estimates that three quarters of global Internet subscriptions will be broadband by the end of this year. There were serious doubts back in the early days over whether early broadband technologies (DSL, cable modem) could reach mass market price points, but, as always, it was only a matter of time. Now we are seeing the same doubts applied to emerging access technologies like Fiber and Wimax, but, inevitably, it is only a question of time before these too become viable alternatives. Only limited competition and poor regulation will prevent DSL and cable from having serious competitors in specific countries. Add to Technorati Favorites
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