Cable still beating out telcos in broadband adds

DSL is on the ropes, and cable companies are seeing their broadband numbers rise, according to data on broadband sign-ups during the second quarter. Leichtman Research Group found that the top 18 providers in the U.S. acquired about 350,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the April-June period. Net broadband additions in the quarter were the second fewest of any quarter in the ten years LRG has been tracking the industry.

That’s pretty significant. It means that new subscribers are hard to come by, so gains for providers will come from the competition — and so far, cable and fiber products are the winners there. For every consumer that added service from a telecom provider, cable providers added three. The top cable broadband providers have a 56-percent share of the overall market, with 8.9 million more subscribers than the top telephone companies – compared to 7.85 million this time a year ago.

But all is not lost for telecom companies — at least those that are upgrading to fiber. AT&T (s t) and Verizon (s vz) added 628,000 fiber subscribers in the quarter (via U-verse and FiOS), while losing 578,000 net DSL subscribers. No wonder Time Warner Cable’s (s twc) CEO thinks broadband is his company’s future and AT&T’s CEO says DSL is obsolete.