DSL, digital set-tops serve up growth

Wed, 02/28/2001 - 7:00pm

Telecommunications Reports International has reported high growth for both the DSL market and the online market as a whole. While DSL access was slow to take off, it ended the year with tremendous strength, according to fourth quarter 2000 results from TR's Online Census. The main area of growth in the fourth quarter comes in DSL access, with more than 2.3 million consumers now subscribing to DSL, nearly twice as many as at the end of the third quarter.

Additionally, a majority of consumers are choosing DSL instead of cable for their high-speed Internet access, according to a study released last month by The Strategis Group. The study, titled "Broadband Users: Cable vs. DSL," concluded that of the 55 percent of broadband users who have made a choice between DSL and cable modems, 60 percent chose DSL. Despite DSL's popularity, a greater percentage of cable modem users are satisfied with their service based on overall quality, access speed and "always-on" connectivity. The study found that 48 percent of cable modem users were "extremely satisfied" with their service, compared with 43 percent of DSL users. Cable modem users showed an eight percent potential churn rate, while DSL users showed a 15 percent rate.

Also, the worldwide digital set-top box market will explode in the next three years, according to a study released in January.

The study, conducted by market research firm MindBranch Inc. and Multimedia Research Group (MRG), predicts that by 2004, combined sales of set-tops and related digital services such as electronic program guides, VOD, interactive TV and enhanced TV will reach $54 billion.

The annual sales of set-top boxes will increase from approximately $4 billion worldwide in 2000 to $5.5 billion in 2001 and $11.5 billion in 2004, the study said.


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