Birth of Broadband

image of Birth of Broadband

This report on the “Birth of Broadband” is the fifth in the ITU Internet Reports series (previously known as “Challenges to the Network”). At a time when the telecommunication industry is struggling with overcapacity and indebtedness, broadband - high-speed Internet access - offers the chance of revitalizing market demand. The number of broadband subscribers was set to double in 2003. This report was specially prepared to coincide with ITU TELECOM WORLD 2003, held in Geneva from 12 to 18 October 2003. The first part presents a series of analytical chapters, backed up by country case studies, graphs and charts. The second part presents the latest available data for broadband and telecommunication use in 206 economies across the globe, including the new release of ITU’s Mobile and Internet Index.



Broadband dreams

Like most technology-driven industries, telecommunications are historically characterized by steady growth punctuated by an occasional leap forward, usually when a new technology is introduced. We are by now familiar with the historical succession of the telegraph, telex, fax and e-mail, each one of which revolutionized human communications. In the last part of the twentieth century, the almost simultaneous arrival of two major innovations—mobile phones and the Internet—not only changed the face of communications, but also gave the impetus for dramatic economic growth. However, as they reach saturation in the developed world in particular, the industry is searching for the “next big thing” to drive a new wave of innovation and growth.


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