Report: Cable Still Beats DSL
Over the past four years, the number of cable modem subscribers has outnumbered DSL access lines by a significant margin. While that doesn't mean DSL isn't growing fast (even faster than cable, by NPRG's reckoning), it raises the chance that cable providers will have a larger installed base from which to grow so-called "triple play" services.
What's more, it seems technology that supports video-on-demand (VOD) over the cable infrastructure (such as that announced by Internet Photonics Inc. yesterday -- see Internet Photonics Touts VOD) could boost this advantage.
Technology for adding VOD to DSL networks seems to be moving more slowly, an observation of other industry reports as well (see We Want Our Packet TV!).
NPRG sees the addition of VOD capabilities as potentially giving cable MSOs (multiple system operators) the means to offer triple-play services within three or four years -- about two years ahead of satellite and telecom providers, by the firm's lights.
There's just one catch -- telephony. NPRG indicates there's evidence that today's leading cable MSOs, including Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR), and Cox Communications Inc. (NYSE: COX) -- which collectively owned over 65 percent of the cable market in 2002 -- aren't showing a high percentage of telephony or data customers.
In 2002, just 16 percent of 70.1 million cable subscribers had cable modems for Internet service; just 3 percent had IP telephony from their MSO, according to NPRG's report.
— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading