Broadband Sub Growth Throttled

3:15 PM -- Broadband subscription additions in the U.S. slowed down big time in the second quarter, though cable operators managed to snap up the bulk of what was there to take.

Taking into account the 20 largest U.S. cable operators and telcos, Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG) said the group signed up a total of 887,000 net new high-speed Internet subs in the period -- just over half of the year-ago total.

The top cable MSOs added just north of 670,000 subs, representing a whopping 76 percent of the net broadband ads in the period.

Despite giving the telcos a whoopin' in the second quarter, cable shouldn't be too proud of the accomplishment, as the net additions marked the fewest of any quarter in the seven years LRG has been tracking those figures.

"While the relative number of quarterly broadband adds has certainly peaked, the decline in additions this quarter compared to the same period last year was exacerbated by Verizon and AT&T’s emphasis on selling higher speed FiOS and U-verse bundled services, often at the expense of the traditional DSL service," says LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman.

Our own analysis shows that this was the quarterly low-water mark for DSL. (See DSL's Worst Quarter Ever .) IP Democracy has come to similar conclusions.

According to LRG's account, the top U.S. broadband operators ended the second quarter with 65.1 million subs. Cable still led with 35.3 million of that total (54%), versus the telcos' 29.7 million.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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