EU boosts DSL usage worldwide

Worldwide use of DSL broadband technology for Internet access rose 38% to 164 million users in the 12 months ended June 30, boosted by strong growth in the EU, an industry trade group, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The report further said China had the world's highest number of DSL subscribers, at 33.3 million, followed by the US at 23.2 million.

The EU added roughly 18 million new DSL users during the 12 months, an increase of 45%, bringing the regional total to 56 million, the report said.

The figures were announced by the industry group DSL Forum, which was holding a quarterly meeting in Athens.

Use of DSL had accelerated in the past few years as advances in the technology had driven down prices while enabling heavier-bandwidth services such as video to be delivered over existing telephone lines.

In North America, where cable television penetration was widespread, slightly more than half of broadband subscribers used cable TV lines, the report said.

However, in the 12-month period, DSL use rose faster than cable modem subscriptions, growing 31% to 26.7 million users, the report further said.

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