The communication world is changing rapidly, and this has enormous implications for everything from how we get our news to who pays for our entertainment programming. And key to this change is the growth of broadband Internet connections to the home. Now that we’ve graduated from slow dial-up connections to always-on high-speed broadband over wireless home networks, it is practical to deliver music and video right into every room. Internet radio, movies and TV programming on demand, and free video phone calls with Skype are just a few of the benefits of this new world of big data pipes.
Now comes a study from Futuresource that predicts 500 million high-speed broadband home connections worldwide by 2010. About 60% use telephone connections such as DSL, and about another 20% use cable television connections. The study singles out India for much of the predicted growth, jumping from about five million subscribers today — about 2% market penetration — to nearly 25 million lines by 2013.
Also watch for data throughput rates to increase. According to Futuresource, the average U.S. home broadband connection maxes out at 2.7 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads. In Europe, the average in Sweden is 14 Mbps — more than five times as the U.S. average — but even Sweden is left in the dust by Japan and South Korea where the average is a blistering 30 Mbps.
As broadband reaches into more homes at faster speeds, expect to see new services to appear and demand for existing srevices to grow. As a result, the way we get our news and entertainment content is likely to change dramatically.