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China Leads DSL Broadband Deployment

Point Topic reports that 2005 saw a big shift in the leadership of the DSL market away from the Asia-Pacific region and in favour of Europe. The leading Asia-Pacific countries grew their installed base of DSL lines much more slowly than the leading Europeans. Even China could manage only 56 percent growth, and the number of DSL lines in use in South Korea actually fell by 250,000.

The three biggest European countries all overtook South Korea in number of DSL lines, and Spain passed Canada and Taiwan to enter the Top Ten. The UK was the fastest growing Top Ten country for the year as a whole, adding over 3 million DSL lines to increase its installed base by 73 percent. All the leading European countries grew by more than 40 percent.

The UK did relatively less well in the last quarter of 2005. Although it grew by a reasonable 12.4 percent - equivalent to a 60 percent annual rate - Italy, Spain and Germany all grew more rapidly and France almost as fast. China and the USA put on 6.9 percent and 8.8 percent respectively, while the Asia-Pacific countries remained almost static.

The fastest growth is among the developing countries further down the list. Turkey was one of the stars of 2005, adding more than 1 million lines to a total of 1.54 million, and Mexico was another adding 900,000 to pass 1.6 million.

Meanwhile there are growing signs of saturation among the countries with higher penetration, even in Europe. Belgium, the Nethrlands and Switzerland all ended the year with relatively slow growth.

The full story of how broadband growth is related to overall penetration depends on the growth in users of cable modems and other technologies, which varies greatly from country to country.

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