DSL’s subscriber base increased to more than 173 million through the end of the third quarter. The number of all broadband subscribers exceeded 263 million, according to the DSL Forum, citing data compiled by Point Topic.
The number of new broadband subscribers in the quarter was 65 million, two-thirds of them choosing DSL. That result is unsurprising, given the greater popularity of DSL outside the U.S., a trend that has its roots in the traditionally limited footprint of cable in the rest of the world.
DSL is now up to a 65.6% market share worldwide. FTTx has grown to take a 10% share; broadband delivered by satellite represents less than 1%. The balance, about 24%, belongs to cable.
In terms of straight numbers (in contrast to penetration rates), the largest broadband market in the world is the U.S. with more than 55.5 million broadband subscribers, followed by China at 48.5 million, and Japan with almost 26 million.
Technology Number of subscribers Percentage of subscribers
DSL 173,083,131 65.61
Cable 60,245,598 22.84
FTTx 27,019,742 10.24
Michael Brusca, president of the DSL Forum, said: “Even though DSL is the predominant delivery technology in the world, the DSL Forum is working to extend the benefits of our own specifications to be equally applicable for other network technologies and to address the service delivery needs of the ever-growing range of multimedia devices and applications that depend on broadband for their success.”
The DSL Forum is developing a set of specifications for service interoperability. Its BroadbandSuite specifications cover an access and management platform responsive to devices beyond the customer gateway as well as the distribution network. The goal is to minimize provisioning and maintenance issues for service and application providers – ideally of any type – who must support vast and growing requirements of new applications and hardware.