DSL surges across Europe

More than 17.5 million people took out DSL subscriptions across Europe last year, bringing the total to 66,374,600 – a growth of 36 per cent from 2005. The figures, from the DSL Forum, show Europe as the leading DSL region worldwide, accounting for more than 35 per cent of all DSL subscribers.

According to the Forum, in 2006 the number of DSL subscribers worldwide grew by more than 30 per cent to 185 million. In the year, global broadband subscribers increased to more than 281 million. This meant that an increase of 67 million people subscribed to broadband in 2006 – with almost two-thirds of new subscribers selecting DSL to deliver their broadband.

The figures were prepared for the DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic.

The Forum said that worldwide, DSL remains by far the most popular broadband access technology with a 65.7 per cent market share. DSL accounts for almost 88 per cent of all broadband subscribers in the Middle East and Africa – the fastest growing broadband region.

Of the other broadband access technologies, fibre to the home or other close location (FTTx), now delivers more than ten per cent of broadband services across the world, the Forum said. Less than one per cent of broadband is delivered by satellite, accounting for 784,750 subscribers.

In global terms, the USA is the world’s largest broadband market with more than 57 million subscribers. China, the second largest market, is rapidly closing the gap and added 14.4 million broadband subscribers in 2006 -more than three million more than the USA – to reach 51.9 million.

Thirteen countries now have over three million DSL subscribers, with a further three – the Netherlands (at 2,957,000 subscribers), Turkey (at 2,935,900) and Mexico (at 2,725,683) – fast approaching. In total, 26 nations have more than one million DSL subscribers, with Denmark, Argentina and Russia passing the figure in 2006.

“These latest broadband subscriber figures clearly show that DSL is the preferred delivery method for efficient, high speed broadband around the world,” said George Dobrowski, DSL Forum chairman and president. “With the growing popularity of IPTV over DSL, we expect the DSL market to continue grow in two dimensions; more customers and higher bit rates.”

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