DSL subscribers pass 30 million mark

The number of digital subscriber line subscribers worldwide grew by five million in the third quarter of 2002 to more than 30.6...

The number of digital subscriber line subscribers worldwide grew by five million in the third quarter of 2002 to more than 30.6 million, according to figures released yesterday by London market research company Point Topic.

The figures were announced at the San Francisco meeting of the DSL Forum, a consortium of nearly 250 telecommunications, equipment, computing, networking and service provider companies.

"We're seeing continued strong demand for DSL lines in Asia, which shows the highest DSL penetration, but the US is catching up," said Point Topic analyst Tim Johnson.

Point Topic is a primary supplier of DSL subscription data to the DSL Forum.

Global DSL subscribers have grown steadily from 18.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2001 to 22.6 million in the first quarter of 2002 and 25.6 million in the second quarter, Johnson said.

South Korea continued to lead the world with more than six million installed lines as of 30 September, followed by the US, Japan, Germany and China.

"France and Italy are markets beginning to show particularly strong for DSL and could, someday, exceed Germany," Johnson said.

DSL is only one indicator of broadband deployment. Several major markets, including UK, Canada and the US, have more cable modems than DSL lines, while Germany and Italy have virtually none.

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