February 20, 2013
Fiber to Home Grows, DSL Possibly Grows Faster
By Gary Kim
As broadband subscribers approach 635 million globally, digital subscriber line (DSL) continues to be the access medium with the highest installed base. Some might argue that growth rates for fiber to customer connections are higher, but that’s debatable.
The growth of fiber network connections is one thing, but customers added using those connections is another. At least in net customer additions, it still appears that DSL is adding customers at a higher rate.
Some may suggest new customers in China alone, using DSL, would tip the scales, as far as customer net additions.
Still, the latest figures published by the Broadband Forum and prepared by broadband industry analysts Point Topic indicate that hybrid fiber access (FTTx) has experienced the highest growth, among fiber to customer platforms, in 2012.
Of course, many would argue that as valuable as fiber access is, copper access also keeps getting better. The fastest-growing technology for wired broadband, globally, is surely still DSL.
DSL has accounted for 70 percent of all broadband connections globally, according to Point Topic. And supporters say new technologies, including vectoring, will allow DSL speeds to keep increasing, just as cable modem and fiber-to-home speeds keep rising.
Edited by Braden Becker
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