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Qwest reaches 1 million DSL subscriptions

Qwest reaches a milestone while the rest of the world continues to put down more lines and pick up more users.

Qwest Communications International on Monday said it had reached the milestone of 1 million DSL customers, capping four consecutive quarters of double-digit subscriber growth.

The Baby Bell added that it plans to install 4,000 remote terminals, which deliver DSL (digital subscriber line) access into homes, by the end of this year. The expansion will grant DSL access to 10 million homes in its 14-state service area.

The news comes amid data showing total DSL subscriptions around the world increasing. In the quarter that ended Sept. 30, there were 85.3 million DSL customers around the world, up from 54.6 million a year before, according to a study conducted by market researcher Point Topic. Most of these new subscriptions were added in the United States and China, two countries in which demand is high.

The firm expects worldwide DSL lines to reach 100 million in early 2005.

For the quarter, China continued its lead as the country with the most DSL subscribers, followed by Japan, the United States, South Korea, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Taiwan and Canada. The United States added the most DSL lines added last quarter, likely fueled by aggressive expansion plans among the Bells. China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany followed in this category.

The story was completely different in terms of DSL penetration, measured as lines per 100 citizens. South Korea reigned at the top with about 14 percent penetration, followed by Taiwan, Hong Kong, Denmark and Norway. The United States did not make the top 10.