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Summary:

The decline of DSL in the US has life tough for the phone companies – who in total lost 70,000 subscribers during the second quarter of 2012. Winner: cable companies in general and Comcast in specific as 260,000 new folks signed up for broadband in the US.

toy_car_broadband_speed_limit

US broadband is growing – albeit much more slowly according to data collected by Leichtman Research Group, a market research company. During the second quarter of 2012, US added 260,000 broadband subscribers, down sharply from 350,000 broadband subscribers added during the second quarter of 2011. According to Leichtman, “the net broadband additions in the quarter were the fewest of any quarter in the eleven years LRG has been tracking the industry.”

As we have previously reported – the decline of traditional DSL has created problems for phone companies, who are losing customers to cable broadband providers. Here are some other insights from the data they collected.

  • Top cable companies added about 330,000 subscribers. In the second quarter of 2011, they had added 271,000 new subscribers.
  • The top telephone companies lost about 70,000 subscribers versus a gain of about 80,000 in 2Q 2011. AT&T and Verizon had fewer net broadband adds in Q2 2012 than in any previous quarter in the past eleven years
  • AT&T and Verizon added 669,000 fiber subscribers in the quarter (via U-verse and FiOS) and had a net loss of 763,000 DSL subscribers.
  • Comcast now has 18.74 million broadband subscribers, making it the biggest broadband provider in the US.

  1. This is disappointing! I live within 5 miles of a major metropolitan city and can only get dial up or cellular 3G data (most of the time, otherwise 2G). I keep requesting DSL or cable connectivity but no one wants to spend the money for the buildout to service 40 more potential customers. Rural Internet is hurting regardless of stimulus!

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    1. Where do you live? Thanks

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      1. Eugene, Oregon. AT&T has fiber under my street for their cell towers, and CenturyLink (local telco) has fiber 3/4 mile away, but won’t even bring in a remote terminal for 1.5Mbps DSL. Frustrating! And downtown is 5 short miles away, go figure. I was spoiled living in the Bay Area.

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        1. Wow. that is indeed a reason to be frustrated. I feel that most of these large companies are knowingly degrading the experience so you sign-up for network-neutrality free LTE service and pay through the nose.

          Alternatively, you are still going to be getting cleaner air, better food and less stress in Eugene versus Bay Area. I would not be too upset. :-) Enjoy the non-tech things.

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          1. Om, thanks for your personal responses. I would like to share with you or your staff more details of the rural Internet dilemma (a techie gone rural’s experience) for your or staff’s review and you possible publication with the spin of your choosing. Email me an address I can shoot you a write up and you can do with it as you desire. Sound interesting?

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  2. so broadband subscriptions have reached a saturation point in the US market in this economy. When ppl look at DSL vs cable dsl usually fails the comparison shopper.

    Maybe it fails due to slower speeds. Maybe it fails bc ppl are moving to cell only and the teleco’s loose the bundling advantage the the cable companies have, doesn’t seem like that analysis was done.

    Fiber subscriptions are beating out dsl where available hardly surprising considering they only offer in limited areas where they think they’ll make money. It would be interesting to know how fiber does against the cable companies. It would be also interesting to know how much money these companies have on hand to invest capital intensive internet land-lines and how that plays with their other investment priorities such as increasing programming expenses for cable companies and massive wireless outlays for the telecos

    also the image is deceptive. The speed limit sign implies that the speed is slow. Right now that is the speed of my internet. The company offers speeds up to 50, but I can stream the highest quality netflix, hulu, skype w/o issue. I’ve been over at friends houses who have 6 and haven’t noticed a difference. For now 6 is enough for almost everyone except maybe a few with special bandwidth needs like chronic movie down loaders and maybe some multimedia professionals. Take a look at the speedtest article on internet speeds and get a grip about what equals slow fast and overkill speed for internet: https://support.speedtest.net/entries/20893327-what-speeds-do-i-need-for-skype-netflix-video-games-etc

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