U.S. poised for broadband explosion, says Gartner
U.S. ranks fifth globally in household penetration
IDG News Service - The U.S. has fallen behind on broadband penetration, but that will change in the next four years, according to a report from market research firm Gartner Inc.
In 2012, 77% of all U.S. households will be accessing the Internet via broadband, compared with 54% last year, the report stated.
Gartner's analysts have put together a list of 17 countries that will have penetration levels that exceed 60% in 2012. Last year, 11 countries on that list were ahead of the U.S., but in four years, only South Korea, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Canada will lead the U.S. in household broadband penetration.
The U.S. will share fifth place with Japan, which will see equally impressive growth.
Key to the large growth in the U.S. will be a combination of lower prices and increased interest as customers on dial-up move to broadband, according to Fernando Elizalde, principal research analyst at Gartner.
Several countries that the U.S. will pass are in Europe, including the U.K., France and Sweden. In competition with Europe, the U.S. will benefit from a younger population, according to Elizalde.
In 2012, South Korea will have a penetration rate of 97%; the Netherlands, 82%; and Hong Kong, 81%, the study said.
When looking at the penetration in emerging vs. mature markets, the overall growth is skewed. Not only will the digital divide continue between these two markets, but it will widen by 13 percentage points, according to Gartner.
On a worldwide basis, household penetration will grow from 18% of households in 2007 to 25% of households in 2012.
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