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U.S. broadband subs top 50M; Telcos whittling away at cable's lead

Mon, 11/13/2006 - 7:21am
Brian Santo, CED

There were over 2.5 million additional broadband subscribers in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2006, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

LRG tabulated its totals using data from the 20 largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S., which collectively represent about 94% of the market.

The top 20 broadband providers now account for nearly 50.9 million high-speed Internet subscribers. The cable industry claims over 28.1 million broadband subscribers, while telephone companies tally 22.7 million DSL and other broadband subscribers, according to LRG.

Telephone companies continue to chip at the cable industry's lead; the top carriers added 1.33 million broadband subscribers, or 53% of the net broadband adds for the quarter. Telephone companies have added more broadband subscribers than cable providers in each of the last eight quarters, acquiring about 1.5 million more subscribers than cable over the past two years.

Consistent with historic patterns, broadband subscriber growth rebounded from the second to the third quarters; subscribers were up 450,000 sequentially. That said, broadband subscriber growth trailed off a bit from a year ago, down about 100,000 fewer than the third quarter of last year.

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