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There are now more than 500 million broadband lines in use around the world, a new report has indicated.

According to research conducted by the Broadband Forum and analyst firm Point Topic, this milestone was reached during the third week of July 2010.

Over the past 12 months, broadband line penetration rates are reported to have increased by 11.99 per cent.

The finding highlights the growing importance of broadband technology to businesses, consumers and communities around the world.

Robin Mersh, Chief Executive Officer of the Broadband Forum, said his organisation was already looking ahead to the next half a billion lines and "the challenges and opportunities that such rapid global growth can present".

"Today is a day to celebrate, but we continue to work towards strategic broadband evolution goals and our work on IPv6," he added.

"Helping internet service providers to support its integration is part of our role in anticipating and solving the issues before they arise." 

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