broadbandJust shy of 220 million people worldwide have gigabit broadband availability, according to the latest Gigabit Monitor from test and measurement vendor Viavi. That’s roughly 3 percent of the world population.

Seventeen percent of the population – 56.4 million people – have gigabit broadband access in the U.S. That’s the highest number of people in any country in the world.

Overall, there are 603 gigabit broadband deployments up and running in a total of 41 countries worldwide –72 percent more than there were in June 2016 by Viavi’s count. They’re represented, along with additional data and analysis, on Viavi’s interactive, graphical online gigabit deployment database, which was originally launched last year.

Gigabit Broadband Availability
South Korea ranks second in the number of people with gigabit broadband available to them, with 46.7 million citizens having access. South Korea also ranks high when it comes to per capita gigabit Internet access – 93 percent.

Per person, Singapore ranks at the top of the list, with nearly ubiquitous population coverage of 95 percent, Viavi highlights.

Turning to delivery mode, 91 percent of global gigabit broadband connectivity is provided via fiber. Cellular connections account for just 3.65 percent, while HFC (hybrid fiber-coax) accounts for 5.26 percent. WiFi makes up less than 1 percent, according to the latest Gigabit Monitor data.

Viavi expects to see a notable shift taking place near-term as leading ISPs continue to expand their LTE wireless broadband footprints and early, next-generation 5G wireless broadband testing and field trials continue.Twenty-five mobile network operators are testing 5G in the lab. Twelve have reportedly launched field trials, according to Viavi’s “State of 5G Trials.”

“2016 was a turning point for gigabit connectivity, as many cities around the world reached the point whereby gigabit internet was available to most of its residents,” Viavi Solutions’ chief technology officer Sameh Yamany said.

“Yet the gigabit revolution shows no signs of cooling down in 2017. As bandwidth increases, so does consumer appetite for it. Likewise new business models have been quick to take advantage of new bandwidth, as we’ve seen with streaming video and audio in the recent past – and which we believe will continue in the near future with VR, AR and the Internet of Things.”

Image courtesy of flickr user Sean MacEntee.