Capital expenditure was also up on the year, but not as substantially, with a growth of only 12% in 2009. This was still markedly higher than the 0.04% recorded in 2008. Total capital expenditure was $16.49bn.

US capex levels in ICT and internet infrastructure have been varied in recent years, making results difficult to predict. While investments were up steadily during the most recent recession, they collapsed

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in 2006 to a total of only $805m. However, they roared back to life

the following year to $14.69bn, representing a remarkable

growth of 1724%.