Demand for new broadband connections jumped during the first quarter of 2010, reversing what was a long slide in 2009, according to a new report by Durham, N.H.-based Leichtman Research. The top 19 cable broadband and telephone companies added a net total of 1.4 million broadband subscribers in the first three months of the year vs. 890,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2009. However, the total additions are down sharply from the first quarter of 2009 — just 86 percent of total new subscriptions in the year-ago period. These companies account for about 93 percent of the total U.S. market. According to the report, the first quarter of 2010:
- Top cable companies added over 915,000 subscribers. This was the best quarter for cable industry since the first quarter of 2008.
- Top telephone companies added over 502,000 subscribers.
- Top cable companies now have a total of 40.2 million broadband subscribers while phone companies have about 32.9 million subscribers.
- Comcast (s CMCSA) was the largest broadband provider in the U.S., followed closely by AT&T (a T).
The recession and a moribund housing market drove down demand for new broadband connections in 2009. In fact, many folks had started to cut back on their spending on communication services. It seems that as the overall economy is taking tentative steps towards a modicum of normalcy, broadband demand is picking up.