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U.S. Broadband Service Provider Subs Progress

The FCC's number one long-term goal: At least 100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50 megabits per second. Meanwhile, what is happening with subscriber adoption in the short-term?

Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found that the nineteen largest cable and telephone broadband service providers in the U.S. -- representing about 93 percent of the market -- acquired over 1.4 million net additional Internet subscribers in the first quarter of 2010.

These top broadband providers now account for over 73 million subscribers -- with cable companies having 40.2 million broadband subscribers, and telephone companies having nearly 32.9 million subscribers.

Other findings from the LRG market study include:

- The top cable companies added over 915,000 subscribers, representing 65 percent of the net broadband additions for the quarter versus the top telephone companies.

- Overall, broadband additions in 1Q 2010 amounted to 86 percent of those in 1Q 2009 -- with cable having 108 percent as many additions as a year ago, and Telcos 63 percent as many additions as a year ago.

- The top cable broadband providers have a 55 percent share of the overall market, with a 7.3 million subscriber advantage over the top telephone companies -- compared to 6.4 million a year ago.

"Net broadband additions in 1Q 2010 were over 500,000 more than in 4Q 2009, and the most since the first quarter of 2009," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research.

Cable providers had a particularly strong quarter. With more than 900,000 net broadband additions, the top cable companies combined to have their best quarter since 1Q 2008.

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