DSL Deployments Surpassing Expectations

The installation of Digital Subscriber Lines (DSLs) grew 300 percent in the US for the first half of 1999, surging well beyond industry analysts’ projections, according to research by TeleChoice, Inc.

Cable modem installations grew at a much slower pace of 60 percent during the same time period, based on 800,000 cable modems in service in the US reported by analysts. DSL modem technology, which permits ultra-fast, constant access to the Internet over ordinary copper telephone lines, is the prime competitive threat to high-speed cable modem Internet connections.

Deployment of lines in service in the US grew to 159,150 by the end of the second quarter 1999, more than tripling since the fourth quarter 1998 and more than doubling since first quarter 1999. Cable modem service, with about two years in the marketplace, has a good six-month lead on DSL and recently reached the million mark, with 800,000 lines in the US, according to industry reports.

“Putting this into the perspective of head-to-head competition, while cable modem service maintains a healthy lead, DSL is growing at a significantly faster pace and catching up rapidly,” said Laurie Falconer, DSL analyst at TeleChoice. “It may mean the technology has found its legs and is poised to reach its expected exponential market growth much sooner than most believed six months ago.”

According to Falconer, most of the major markets in the US have DSL deployed in the Central Office (CO), meaning the market can grow very quickly. Of the 22,000 COs in the US, 3,742 are deployed with DSL equipment, and they include the 600-700 busiest.

Depending on line conditions, xDSL provides speeds of up to 8 Mbps (up to 52 Mbps with VDSL) downstream and up to 1 Mbps upstream. That is 30 times faster than the best analog modems.

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