A billion lines – fixed broadband for half the world

Broadband subscriber statistics at the end of Q2 2018

According to the latest research from Point Topic, in H2 2018 the world passed the one billion fixed broadband subscriber milestone

In the second half of 2018, in September we believe, the one billionth fixed broadband subscription was signed up, probably in China.

Point Topic’s most recent outputs put the total number of global fixed line broadband subscribers at 983 million at the end of June.

Current adoption rates mean that the billionth broadband line appeared in September 2018.  Technologies rarely manage to spread through the world so quickly, in only twenty years more than half the households in the world have a fixed broadband line.

The internet we know today can be traced back to the late 1960’s when the first when packet switched network linked several US universities.  By the time the Carna botnet managed to map most of the IP4 addresses across the globe the internet had become firmly embedded in our lives.

The extent of the internet. 1970 and 2012

The ‘web’ we know today first emerged in 1989 and for another decade the speed of access was counted in bytes and if you were lucky (and rich enough) even kilobytes.  Until the cable industry came up with a better way of delivering data and cable modems were born.  Swiftly followed by DSL, VDSL and a multitude of other solutions leading up to today when full fibre is the most common choice.

More and more integral to our lives the services and opportunities that high-speed internet access bring us, continue to multiply as do the positive and sometimes negative effects of any new technology that changes the world.

The ‘next billion’ is already being covered and while there is a long way to go and some difficult people and places to reach the choice of having quick access to the internet will be available to everyone within a generation.


The full Q2 2018 Fixed Broadband Statistics report is here.

A short summary of the report is available here

Please telephone +44 (0)20 3301 3303 or e-mail [email protected] for more details on our Global Broadband Statistics and other datasets.