Broadband internet refers to any high-speed internet access that is always available for use, and is the most common form of internet access today. There are four common types of broadband internet transmission: cable, satellite, fiber-optic, and Digital subscriber line (DSL). Initially, the internet was accessed through dial-up connection internet service. Although dial-up internet connection is cheap, most internet users shifted to broadband due to its high speeds.
List of Countries by Broadband Internet Users
China has 174,285,380 broadband internet subscribers. This is the highest total number of subscribers, but it only represents 13% of China's total population. France is the country with the largest proportion of its population subscribed to broadband internet. There are over 24 million broadband internet subscriptions in France, which represents approximately 37.8% of its residents. After France, the country with the next highest proportion of its population subscribed to broadband internet is South Korea (37.6%). Germany and the United Kingdom share the third position, with 34% of their inhabitants using broadband internet. Another country with over 30% of its residents using broadband internet is Canada (32.9%). Besides these nations, the world’s other top broadband internet subscribers include the United States (28%), Japan (27.9%), Spain (24.3%), and Italy (22.1%).
The use of the internet has grown enormously over the years. According to the International Telecommunications Union, 16%, 30% and 47% of the world's population were internet users in 2005, 2010, and 2016, respectively. Users in developing countries have increased from 8% to 21% and 40% in the same sequence of years. On the other hand, internet users in developed nations make up a whopping 81% of their populations. Internet usage has been increasing with corresponding increases in the world’s population from the 6.5 billion in 2005 to 7.3 billion in 2016. Hence, there is a link between the growing increase of broadband internet users and increased internet usage. Other factors that may contribute to increased bandwidth usage is the need for high-speed networks for fast computer processes, globalization, improved technologies, and many innovations. Not long ago, the internet was a luxury to many. However, times have changed and it is now becoming as essential as natural gas, water, and electricity. The internet is positively impacting health, governance, education, agriculture, tourism, and financial services in most countries.
Challenges Associated with Introducing Broadband Internet
In spite of the many advantages of broadband internet use, some drawbacks have hindered its penetration in some parts of the world or some towns or cities. These challenges include lack of internet infrastructure, financing problems, and universal digital literacy. In terms of internet infrastructure, some areas do not yet have internet access. The costs associated with setting up broadband technologies, such as fiber optic cables, are relatively high for some communities. Lastly, many people still do not have basic knowledge of operating computers. Digital literacy is essential for the enjoyment of the high speeds that broadband internet provides.