Broadband growth and net new additions in 2008 declined sharply, according to a report by Durham, N.H.-based Leichtman Research Group. For 2008, big telephone and cable companies added a total of 5.4 million new subscribers vs. 8.5 million in 2007 and 10.4 million in 2006. The large carriers accounted for a total of 67.7 million subscribers. The cable companies ended the year with 36.9 million broadband subscribers, after adding 3.2 million broadband subscribers in 2008.
The slowdown has continued in the first quarter of 2009 as well. With net new additions slowing down, cable operators are looking to up-sell higher speed packages and impose bone-headed metered broadband packages. Comcast recently boosted speeds on its offerings in the San Francisco Bay Area and started offering a super-pricey 50 Mbps service.