The number of DSL lines worldwide increased by almost 60% to 96.9 mln by year-end 2004. This marked an absolute increase of over 35 mln lines during 2004. China extends its lead as the world's biggest DSL country, with over 17.1 mln lines. It added over 4.4 mln DSL lines in the second half of 2004, almost twice as many as the number of lines added by second placed USA - which reached 13.7 mln lines at end-2004. Japan is still keeping up with the pace in third place - adding almost 1.3 mln lines to reach 13.3m lines respectively.
Elsewhere, and in Europe growth of DSL continues to be strong, with France, UK, Germany and Italy all adding over 1 mln lines. France was the leading European country adding over 1.6 mln lines in the second half of 2004 with a total of almost 6.3 mln DSL lines by end-2004. France looks set to overtake fifth placed Germany (with 6.7 mln lines) in 2005.
In terms of percentage growth, Turkey was the most dynamic country in 2004 - growing by over 175% in the second half of 2004 to reach almost 500,000 DSL lines. Poland was also impressive growing by almost 130% to reach 631,000 lines by end-2004. The UK is continuing to show promising growth at over 50%, passing 4 mln lines and being the only country with over 1 mln lines featuring in the top 10 for percentage growth.
In terms of DSL penetration per 100 population, the statistics show that Korea is continuing to be caught up by the other countries in the rankings. Taiwan is edging close to equalling and possible overtaking Korea for first place with 13.86 lines compared to Korea 14.24 lines per 100 population. The Scandinavian countries are also achieving high levels of penetration with Norway climbing to third place with 12.34 lines and Denmark in fourth with 11.89 lines per 100 population.