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Broadband Customer Purchase Preference

Digital-subscriber-line providers have a slight edge over cable broadband when it comes to customer value perceptions based on lowest price, but cable turns the tables when it comes to the broadband access speed.

That's according to a September survey of 1,455 U.S. adults who have residential online service. With a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points, the survey was conducted by comScore Networks.

The survey found 56 percent of customers with DSL service rate their service provider as "good" or "very good" based on service value vs. the amount they pay for it. That compares to 50 percent of cable broadband customers who applied the same evaluations. But when they rated their service based on "speed," 78 percent of cable customers said their providers were "good" or "very good," vs. 70 percent of DSL customers. Cable also displayed an advantage over DSL � 79 percent to 75 percent � in value rankings based on "performance."

Other findings:

A relatively equal percentage of dial-up, DSL and cable broadband customers (around 15 percent) say they'd never consider switching providers.

Among customers who had switched online service providers within the past 12 months, 67 percent went from a dial-up provider to a high-speed DSL or cable provider; 19 percent left a DSL provider; and 14 percent dropped their cable broadband service. DSL providers picked up 40 percent of the castaways, against 35 percent for cable and 20 percent for dial-up providers.

Customer service is a relatively minor factor in influencing decisions to switch providers. Only 6 percent of those saying they may switch providers in the next 12 months cited customer service as a motivating factor. The biggest reasons were better speed and a better price, cited by 36 percent and 35 percent of respondents, respectively.

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