DSL's Not Dead Yet

Digital Subscriber Line growth may be sluggish in the United States, thanks to technical issues, the economic slowdown and frighteningly high customer acquisition costs. But the high-speed service isn't yet ready to go the way of ISDN and other potential-stunted technologies.

According to a recent report by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Cahners In-Stat Group, new advances in digital subscriber line access multiplexers -- the devices that provide the actual DSL service over multiple lines -- could help break down the barriers that have kept DSL from exploding onto the communications scene in the manner many observers first expected. And voice over DSL could still be the killer app that drives the technology into new markets.

According to Ernie Bergstrom, In-Stat's senior analyst for advanced carrier strategies, the new hardware solves several issues, including getting more DSL connections into a smaller space while providing higher speeds and more advanced services to customers farther away from the carrier's central office. Meanwhile, the addition of voice over DSL services will help competitive local exchange carriers provide added value to bundled voice and data services, and thereby retain customers.

Current economic events -- including price increases, the failure of some DSL providers and a backlog of DSL equipment waiting to be deployed -- have clouded the picture for DSL's near-term growth. But Bergstrom says In-Stat remains confident that DSL's long-term prospects remain bright.

This story, "DSL's Not Dead Yet" was originally published by CIO.


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