Deutsche Telekom aims to top 3 million DSL customers –

Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) currently has 2.7 million high-speed Internet customers, with plans to top the 3 million mark by the end of this year, said board member Josef Brauner at the Systems trade show in Munich. Those figures make DT one of the largest providers of DSL (digital subscriber line) services in the world.

The German operator has also developed a means to extend the distance of digital lines between its local exchanges and DSL subscribers from 4 kilometers for good copper-based lines and 3 kilometers for less quality ones to 5 kilometers and 4 kilometers, respectively, said Walter Genz, a company spokesman.

This capability allows DT to add customers currently outside the reach of exchanges equipped with DSL technology. In addition, the German operator is offering a DSL product that provides half the speed of its normal DSL service for those customers currently outside the 4 kilometer to 5 kilometer range of its core 768K bps (bits per second) download-128K bps upload DSL service.

The combination of these two developments -- an additional kilometer for the standard offering and a new lower speed offering -- "will allow us to add another 4 million subscribers," Genz said. At the start of this month, the German operator launched a new SDSL (synchronous DSL) service with speeds up to 2M bps for both downloads and uploads in 10 cities, Brauner said.

The SDSL service, which targets large companies, will be rolled out successively to other major business centers beginning in January 2002, according to Genz. The service is available in six different classes, with six different speeds and fees. One connection can be shared by several users.

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