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Global DSL growth shows no signs of slowing

The number of DSL users worldwide topped the 164 million mark at the end of June, driven by increasing penetration of the technology in Europe and strong growth in developing markets.

Worldwide, the number of business and residential users signing up to DSL for broadband access has increased by almost 46 million in the past year, an annual growth of 38 per cent, according to research group Point Topic.

The European Union maintained its position as the world’s number one DSL region, accounting for more than 34 per cent of all DSL subscribers globally. The EU region has added more than 17.5 million DSL subscribers in the past 12 months, to bring the total figure to 56.13 million.

The UK has seen some considerable growth, notching up some 3 million plus new DSL customers in the 12 months to the end of June – a growth rate of almost 52 per cent.

In North America, DSL is steadily increasing its share of the total broadband market, with DSL subscriptions up 6.36 million year on year and far outstripping cable growth.

But it is South and South East Asia where subscriber numbers are really rocketing with 13 million new subscribers in the 12 months to June 30. China, the world’s largest DSL market, contributed the bulk of this growth with 11.6 million new customers.

China is the world’s leading DSL market with 33.3 million subscribers in total, followed by the US with 23.1 million, Japan with 14.8 million, Germany with 11.6 million and France with 11 million. The UK holds sixth place with 8.7 million, followed by Italy, South Korea, Spain and then Taiwan.

In eight countries worldwide, over 25 per cent of telephone lines are now delivering broadband services over DSL, rising to a third in France and almost 40 per cent in Finland, the researcher said.

Michael Brusca, chairman and president of the DSL Forum said that broadband is increasingly becoming a key entertainment and information tool “and sophisticated quadruple play broadband offerings of voice, video, data and mobile are now delivering continuous connectivity.

“It is vital that carriers evolve their access infrastructures and remote management systems to scale to customer demands and provide Quality of Service (QoS) for delivery of a mix of data, voice and video services,” Brusca said.


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