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U.S. Cable Modem Service in Growth Mode

Emerging from a duopoly environment isn't totally without some stress. The increasing competitiveness of the U.S. pay-TV market continues to drive cable TV operators to invest in their networks and roll out new services, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

For example, an impressive 90 percent of U.S. cable TV systems now offer HD video service, the high-tech market research firm says. This is one of the findings of a recent In-Stat survey of fifty U.S. cable TV systems operators.

"The introduction of telco TV services by companies such as Verizon and AT&T, coupled with stiff competition from satellite TV service providers, is forcing U.S. cable TV operators to develop of new revenue streams, while at the same time, trying to hang on to their existing video subscribers," notes Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- According to survey respondents, 84 percent of cable systems currently have 750 MHz or more of available bandwidth.

- With the exception of increasing the number of available 6-MHz channels for HD video services, most cable systems plan to keep their channel allocations for video services relatively static over the next 12 months.

- OCAP-enabled cable set top boxes are just starting to be deployed in cable systems across the country. According to the survey respondents, only 26 percent of the cable systems have deployed OCAP-enabled set top boxes.

- The take-rate for cable modem service continues to grow. According to survey respondents, 42 percent of their cable TV subscribers now subscribe to cable modem service.

- Fifty-four percent of the cable systems stated that a telephone company was already offering telco TV video service in their cable TV service area footprint.

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