The number of broadband subscriptions globally had risen to 624.1 million by mid-2012, with the strongest growth rates coming from the BRIC economies, the Broadband Forum announced on Tuesday, sharing new industry data from Point Topic.
A number of countries are ″still [showing] very aggressive growth, even though their numbers have been high for some time,″ said Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum, at BBWF 2012 in Amsterdam.
The highest on-year growth rate was recorded in Russia, the fifth largest broadband market globally in terms of absolute subscribers. Connections were up 28.3% to 22.83 million.
World leader China saw connections grow by 15.8% to just over 167 million, cementing its position at the top of the table, while broadband subs in Brazil and India rose by 17.3% to 17.87 million and 14% to 13.99 million respectively.
The second-highest growth rate was recorded by the Ukraine, which increased its connections by 27.9% to 6.79 million.
Broadband is now ″mass market... in every region, with 20% or higher penetration,″ said Mersh.
In North America broadband household penetration now stands at 79%, closely followed by Western Europe with 77%.
But in terms of rapid growth, ″Eastern Europe really stands out,″ Mersh said. The region was home to 52.93 million broadband connections at the end of June, up by 10 million in the past 15 months, and household penetration has reached 46%.