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< Contents ERCIM News No. 56, January 2004
  The ITU has released the fifth book in its Internet Reports series entitled "The Birth of Broadband". The book is a fountain of statistics and analyses.

book coverThe content is best summarizing by quoting from the Foreword: “The introductory chapter of this report, Broadband dreams, explains what broadband can do for users, society and industry. Chapter two, Technologies for broadband, explains the different broadband technologies and how each can provide broadband access under different economic and network conditions. Chapter three, Supplying broadband, looks at how broadband has been successfully provided in certain economies and how certain policies can help expand the network. Chapter four, Using broadband, discusses the current and emerging applications that are driving broadband take-up along with applications and content models that show the most promise for the future. Chapter five, Regulatory and policy aspects, examines regulatory and policy frameworks in successful broadband markets. Chapter six, Promoting broadband, looks at the broadband experiences of several countries characterized by high penetration rates and extensive networks, including conclusions drawn from ITU country case studies on broadband, and examines why and how broadband should be actively promoted. Chapter seven, Broadband and the information society, looks at broadband as a component of a society built around ubiquitous access to information, including some of the benefits and pitfalls of total connectivity. The Statistical annex contains data and charts covering 206 economies worldwide, with original data on broadband and comparative information measured against a selection of variables.”

Surprising to this reviewer is how much greater broadband penetration is in some of the Far Eastern countries, particularly in the Republic of Korea which leads the rest of the world. In Korea, over 20 of 100 inhabitants have broadband and over 40 percent of Internet subscribers access the Internet via broadband. Figures for cost and hours of usage are given.

The book, nearly 200 pages, may be ordered via or the ITU Web site:

Harry Rudin, Consultant and Swiss Local Editor for ERCIM News