DSL Leads Global Connections

Global DSL subscriptions nearly doubled during 2002, from 18.8 million to 35.9 million, and Tim Johnson of Point-Topic expects further growth to 60 million lines by the end of 2003. The momentum is well underway, as Point-Topic’s research showed an increase of 10.3 million lines during the second half of 2002 – roughly 3.3 million more than the first six months of the year.

For the first time since 2001, the U.S. has exceeded South Korea in the number of DSL subscribers, but the U.S. falls to 18th place in terms of penetration, largely due to the 11 million cable modems that are deployed in the U.S. In addition to the U.S., Canada, Austria, the Netherlands, and the UK have more cable modems in have more cable modems than DSL

South Korea won’t remain in 2nd place for long, according to Point-Topic. The firm predicts that South Korea’s broadband market is likely to become saturated during 2003, and Japan will usurp its rank.

Some smaller countries also have high levels of DSL penetration, notably Iceland, with 6.9 DSL lines per 100 people. Estonia is by far the most DSL-advanced country in Eastern Europe with 2.24 lines per 100 people.

Point-Topic also noticed that the UK, France, Finland and Switzerland all saw similar percentage growth in DSL during second half of the year, while Chile, Israel and Australia all increased their DSL lines by about 70 percent in the same period.


Top Ten Countries for Growth in DSL lines
(second half of 2002)
Country Growth
China 214%
UK 89.3%
France 86.9%
Finland 82.5%
Switzerland 77.9%
Israel 72.4%
Chile 71.4%
Japan 70.9%
Australia 70.5%
Netherlands 69.6%
Note: only countries with over 100,000 DSL lines are listed here.
Source: Point-Topic




Millions of DSL Lines
Asia-Pacific 14.5 million
Western Europe 9.4 million
North America 8.2 million
South & East Asia 2.7 million
Rest of the World 1.1 million
Source: Point-Topic



Strategy Analytics reports that 62 percent of the broadband modems sold worldwide in 2002 were DSL – up from 57 percent in 2001 – and 33 percent were cable. Fiber, fixed wireless and other technologies accounted for 5 percent.

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