DSL broadband subscribers will continue to rise

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DSL broadband subscribers will continue to rise

The number of worldwide broadband subscribers will rise 53% by the end of the year to 46 million from 30 million at the beginning of 2002, according to a report by In-Stat/MDR.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is the favourite broadband technology in use worldwide, with 17 million subscribers. In the US, cable modem access was the most popular broadband technology, with 7.12 million subscribers compared with DSL's 4.6 million, In-Stat/MDR said.

The US cable industry's Triple Play bundled service package of voice, video, and high-speed Internet access has proved a combination that DSL has found hard to match, In-Stat/MDR said.

The gains made by DSL have happened largely in the Asia-Pacific region, where Japan and especially South Korea have adopted broadband enthusiastically.

South Korea has the world's highest broadband penetration rate, driven by the country's online gaming habit. Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) estimates that the country's 48 million people will include 12 million broadband Internet subscribers by the end of this year, most of them being DSL subscribers.

Cable and DSL between them account for 95% of broadband access worldwide, with the rest accounted for by satellite broadband, fibre-to-the-home and fixed wireless service.

Fixed wireless has a promising future with the emergence of the 802.11 standard. According to In-Stat/MDR, fixed wireless subscribers will triple worldwide in 2002.

The main hindrance to broadband growth worldwide is the poor telecommunication infrastructure in many areas that cannot yet support broadband access technologies, according to the report.

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