Global fixed broadband back to normal growth | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Even if different markets and regions were showing marked differences in uptake patterns, the global fixed broadband market displayed signs of returning to normal after Covid in the second quarter of 2021 according to a study from Point Topic.
City Fibre Worker 10Mar2021
The top line finding of the survey of 131 countries was that at the end of Q2 2021, the number of global fixed broadband connections grew by 1.7% and stood at 1.22 billion. The growth rate was almost identical to that in Q2 2020 and Q2 2019.

Fixed broadband subscribers grew in 88% of the countries covered in this report and all but two of the largest 20 broadband markets saw growth this quarter, though in 15 of these markets it was slower than in Q1 2021. Yet the extent of growth varied across different markets, with 16 countries reporting a decline in fixed broadband subscriptions in Q2 2021, up from 15 in Q1 2021. The decline was mainly either in saturated broadband markets such as Spain and Israel or those where mobile connections are the preferred way of getting online. In Q2 2021, the growth rate was slower in all regions, compared to the previous quarter, which was in line with seasonal trends.

The study was based on Point Topic’s Global Broadband Statistics service and showed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections in the total fixed broadband subscriptions continued to grow and stood at 57.3%. Between Q1 2021 and Q2 2021, the share of FTTH connections in the total fixed broadband subscriptions continued to grow – it went up by 0.8% and stood at 57.3%. Cable broadband connections followed with an 18.2%share, down by 0.2%. Copper-based (ADSL) and FTTx connections had 11.6 and 12.9% shares respectively. The three latter technologies lost their market share to FTTH in Q2 2021 as consumers migrated to more advanced broadband technologies.

In terms of FTTH net additions, China led with 12.3 million, while Brazil added more than a million and France almost a million fibre broadband subscriptions. In terms of annual changes, between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, the number of copper lines globally fell by 11.1%, while FTTH connections increased by 13.7%.

The highest fibre broadband growth rates were largely in developing markets, with the UK, France, Italy and Germany also reporting quarterly growth at significant rates. China surpassed 0.5 billion fixed broadband connections and is approaching the same milestone in terms of 5G connections.

Out of the largest 20 broadband markets all except Russian Federation and Spain saw growth this quarter. In 15 of the 20 markets the growth was slower than in Q1 2021, which said Point Topic was not unexpected given seasonal fluctuations.