If the competitiveness of nations can be measured by their broadband subscriber rolls, then the United States is on the verge of losing its leadership to China. China already is rapidly approaching the US as the country with the largest number of broadband subscribers, according to data from iSuppli Corp's newly-launched Broadband and Digital Home service. At the end of 2005, China is expected to have 34million subscribers, compared to 39million in the US.
By the end of 2007, China will have 57million broadband subscribers, compared to 54million in the US. In the following years, China will widen its lead over the US.
As nations jockey for economic advantage, broadband access is emerging as a key competitive differentiator.
In the networked economy of today and tomorrownational broadband subscriber rolls represent a key metric determining a country's competitiveness said Steve Rago, principal analyst, networking and optical communications, and head of iSuppli's Broadband and Digital Home service.
Broadband is now driving the growth of the global telecommunications business-and indeed represents the future of communications itself. Beyond communicationsin areas including entertainment and electronic commerceeverything is moving to broadband. To stay competitive both technologically and economicallynations must remain at the cutting edge of broadband deployment."
The US in 2004 remained the world leader in terms of the number of broadband residential subscribers. Howeverthe US broadband market over the past few years has been plagued with regulatory issues that have stifled the growth of high-speed internet-access technologies. Largely because of thisthe US has fallen behind in the percentage of its households that have broadband. Suppli estimates that at the end of 2004the US ranked 15th worldwide for broadband penetration of internet homes. If nothing dramatic occursiSuppli expects America's ranking to continue to decline in the coming years.