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Sharp broadband growth seen, dial-up shrinks

The days of dial-up Internet access are nearly done as global demand for broadband booms, according to research firm IDC.
/ Source: Reuters

The days of dial-up Internet access are nearly done as global demand for broadband booms, according to research firm IDC.

Worldwide high-speed, or broadband, subscriptions will almost double in five years to nearly 400 million in 2010 from about 205 million in 2005, fueled by cheaper prices, increased customer choice and the growth of devices and applications built for the use of broadband, IDC said in a study made public Monday.

"Consumer demand for broadband remains strong, with three out of four global online households connecting to the Internet via broadband in 2010," said IDC analyst Amy Harris Lind.

In 2005, broadband surpassed dial-up as the primary method online households utilized to connect to the Internet, IDC said.

Broadband Internet access, which is supplied primarily by telephone, cable and other telecommunications companies, provides users with the ability to quickly download Web pages, transfer computer files, and easily enjoy audio and video programming. Its speed far exceeds that of dial-up.

IDC forecast global broadband services revenue will reach $122.4 billion in 2010.

Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL — a form of broadband that provides Internet access over wires of a local telephone network — remains the leading installed broadband technology globally, accounting for 67 percent of subscriptions in 2010, according to IDC.