Data Fizzles, Digital Recovers, VoIP Gains

The second quarter is turning out to be a weaker period for cable high-speed data but a stronger one for digital cable and voice-over-IP (VoIP). In the first flurry of earnings results from publicly traded MSOs this week, three out of four reported substantially lower broadband gains, both on a sequential and year-to-year basis. Comcast Corp., Charter Communications and Mediacom Communications all signed up significantly fewer cable modem subscribers this time around. Only Time Warner Cable held its own with the most recent quarters, adding 201,000 data customers. But all four MSOs reported strong VoIP gains in Q2. As usual, Time Warner led the way, signing up a record 242,000 "Digital Phone" subscribers. In fact, Tme Warner actually signed up more VoIP customers than either data or digital video subscribers. Three out of the four MSOs reported healthy digital cable additions. Comcast led the way here with 284,000 new digital customers, its best performance in three quarters. Time Warner also scored big, picking up 144,000 digital subscribers, its best performance in more than two years.
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