The ongoing recession does not appear to be hampering the uptake of broadband.
That is according to new research conducted by Point Topic, which has predicted that the global number of fixed broadband lines will increase from 493 million to 496 million by the end of this year.
Point Topic also said that over the next four years, the number of broadband connections look set to increase from 683 million to 695 million.
The US and China will boast 40 per cent of the world's broadband subscribers by 2013, with a combined user base of 270 million.
Chief analyst Tim Johnson suggested that while the effects of the global recession are being felt, "growth in developing countries" is helping push up broadband user numbers.
He commented: "The small increase in the forecasts hides the fact that broadband is having quite a difficult time. It's not that the recession isn't having an effect, simply that the effect is turning out roughly in line with Point Topic's predictions, so far at least."
Point Topic revealed that higher-than-trend growth rates are being experienced by 14 countries, including Mexico, Greece and Australia.