According to government figures, the country's information technology exports totaled $1.4 billion in the last financial year. -AP File Photo

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is ranked as one of top countries that registered high growth rates in broadband Internet penetration among their populace, the latest worldwide data report for Q1 2010 to Q1 2011 says.

Serbia leads all countries surveyed with a 68% annual growth rate from Q1 2010 to Q1 2011, according to July 2011 Bandwidth Report with data on worldwide bandwidth penetration.

The figures were cited by Website Optimization, LLC, a leading website optimizing firm, sourced from Point Topic, a global broadband tracker, and reported by PRWeb.

Pakistan, which has seen a boom in its promising telecom sector and information technology services in recent years, recorded around 46.2 percent growth of subscribers and is placed fourth on the ranking list.

The closest South Asian country to Pakistan on the list of top countries is Sri Lanka at the 11th spot with its broadband penetration growing in 30s while India lags at the 14th place in terms of broadband growth.

Globally, only Thailand and Belarus had greater percentage expansion than Pakistan, apart from top-rated Serbia during the period.

Pakistan's digital growth prospects have begun to look brighter lately.

Besides having a large bilingual (English and Urdu) Internet conversant population, Pakistan's software companies have carved a niche internationally in recent years.

According to government figures, the country's information technology exports totaled $1.4 billion in the last financial year.

Experts say the IT industry, which adds thousands of skilled workers every year, has the potential to hit multimillion export target within next five to ten years. Additionally, mobile phone and wireless Internet usage are also expanding rapidly.

The survey data shows that China continues to lead the world in total broadband subscribers. As of the first quarter of 2011, China had over 135 million broadband subscribers, with the US at over 88 million subscribers in second place. Japan, German, and France followed China and the US in total subscribers.

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