Top cable firms nab 2.5 mil b'band subs in Q3

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As part of its fourth-quarter research notes, the Leichtman Research Group Thursday reported that the top twenty U.S.-based cable and telephone service providers, representing about 94% of the market, signed up more than 2.5 million net additional broadband subscribers in the third-quarter 2006.

The cable and telephone providers now account for almost 50.9 million high-speed Internet customers. LRG reports cable having more than 28.1 million broadband subs and telephone 22.7 million DSL and other broadband customers.

The LRG research for the quarter also shows that the top telephone providers added 1.33 million broadband subscribers, representing 53% of the net broadband additions for the quarter versus cable and that total net broadband additions were about 100,000 fewer than the third quarter of last year.

"Not surprisingly, the broadband market in the U.S. bounced back in the third quarter of 2006 with about 450,000 more net additions than in the second quarter of the year. Through the first three quarters of 2006 there have been over 7.7 million net broadband additions," said the report authored by LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman.

Other key findings in the research include:

 Telephone companies have added more broadband subscribers than cable providers in each of the last eight quarters, acquiring about 1.5 million more subscribers than cable over the past two years

 The top cable broadband providers still have a 5.4 million subscriber advantage over the telephone companies and command a 55% share of the market.

According to the LRG report, the top five cable broadband providers in third quarter this years were: Comcast, which posted a net broadband subscriber gain of 536,000, followed by Time Warner (251,000), Cox (75,000), Charter (88,100) and Cablevision (72,438).

The top five telephone providers were: AT&T, which gained a net broadband sub boost of 374,000, followed by Verizon (448,000), Bell South (176,000), Qwest (175,000) and Embarq (84,000).
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