Growth in high-speed Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) to access the Internet jumped 382 percent from 1999 to 2000 in North America and is on track to easily break 3 million this year, a new study reported Tuesday.
DSL lines in service in North America totaled 2,861,045 at the end of 2000, according to new statistics published by survey concern TeleChoice Inc, as compared to some 570,000 at the end of 1999. The U.S. had 2,429,189 DSL lines in service at year’s end. Canada had 431,856 DSL lines in service.
To gauge just how fast DSL use is growing, 700,000 people became DSL subscribers in the U.S. from the third-quarter of last year to the fourth. In Canada, the installed base grew by over 150,000 subscribers in the same period, an increase of 50 percent over the end of the third quarter.
“The continued strong growth of the overall market shows an undeniable demand for DSL,” said Adam Guglielmo, a DSL analyst with TeleChoice. “We do not expect this to slow down.”
Traditional local telephone companies provided 78 percent of the total DSL lines, followed by independent providers with 22 percent.
“There is still room for competition, but some of it may be coming from a different quarter than we originally thought,” commented TeleChoice DSL Analyst Pat Hurley. “Value-added services like voice over DSL should finally start becoming a real factor by the end of this year.”
Unlike ISDN — which is also digital but travels through the switched telephone network — DSL is “always-on” and doesn’t require a dial-up connection. DSL speeds are tied to the distance between the customer and the telephone companies central office — the short the distance, the faster the speed potential. Asymmetric DSL is for Internet access, where fast downstream is required, but slow upstream is acceptable, making it the most used DSL standard available today to consumers. Symmetric DSL is designed for short haul connections that require high speed in both directions.
To gather the data, TeleChoice interviews each DSL facilities-based service provider on a quarterly basis.