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Worldwide DSL Subscribers Will Reach 140 Million By Year's End: Report

Nearly 40 million people subscribed to DSL service for the first time in the past year, according to a new analysis by Point Topic, for a growth rate of 45%.

By the end of 2005, 140 million global homes and businesses will have DSL, the report found. European Union countries account for the greatest number of DSL subscribers, with 40% of the total. The UK and France led the way, with 3 million subscribers each. The USA extended its lead over Japan as the second largest DSL population in the world. China currently has 10 million subscribers and is rapidly approaching 25 million. A total of 19 countries will have more than one million subscribers at the end of this year. Australia, Belgium, Turkey, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland have recently broken this barrier.

The Middle East and Africa region was the fastest growing, with a 140% increase in DSL subscribers. Turkey was the leading country, adding more than 850,000 and becoming the first country in the region to pass the one million mark. Latin America has more than five million subscribers. Brazil added more than one million in the year and Mexico saw 98% growth in DSL subscribers.

Seven countries have over 20% of phone lines delivering broadband services using DSL. Switzerland, Spain and the UK are likely to reach that initial target for at the end of 2005.

"As broadband DSL reaches mass market levels, supporting multiple services and delivering voice, data and video take on greater importance," Michael Brusca, chair of the DSL forum, said in a statement, explaining the growing acceptance of DSL.