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Networking This Week: Next-Generation DSL -- Super High Speed And HDTV-Ready

If you think DSL is yesterday's technology, think again. As the news shows this week, this isn't your father's DSL.

The big DSL news was the world's first demonstration of delivering a live HDTV broadcast over a DSL network. Broadcom's IPTV set-top box reference design platform was used by France Telecom to broadcast the French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros Stadium in France on June 2, 2005.

What's the big deal, you ask? The demonstration may lead the way toward allowing telecom operators to offer HDTV broadcast and on-demand services over their existing DSL networks. That means that the telecom crowd is going after cable companies, in the same way that the cable companies are going after telecom's Internet access business.

When most consumers think DSL, though, they're not thinking HDTV. They're thinking broadband, and what they want more than anything is speed, speed, and more speed. Bell South is only too happy to comply. It just announced that its 2.3 million DSL customers will get access speeds of a sizzling 6 Mbps. It'll be available in the fourth quarter.

With all this news, is it any surprise that DSL is thriving? It shouldn't be. But to confirm it, DSL gained more than 10 million new subscribers during the first quarter of 2005 to reach 107 million worldwide, cementing its position as the most popular broadband technology, according to a study done by market research group Point Topic on behalf of the DSL Forum.

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