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Fewer U.S. Broadband Subscriber Adds in 2010

According to the latest market study by Leichtman Research Group (LRG), the nineteen largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S. -- representing about 93 percent of the total market -- acquired 330,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the second quarter of 2010.

Net broadband additions in the quarter were the fewest of any quarter in the nine years LRG has been tracking the industry. That said, it's not clear what is responsible for the significant decline. Is it still the economic environment, is the market fully saturated at the current price points, are limited-time price incentives not attractive to the prospective customers?

Other key findings from the market study include:

- The top phone companies had a net loss of about 7,500 subscribers -- compared to a gain of 385,000 subscribers in 2Q 2009.

- AT&T had a net loss of 92,000 subscribers in the quarter -- this is the first time that any of the top ten broadband providers reported a quarterly net subscriber loss.

- AT&T and Verizon added 451,000 fiber subscribers in the quarter (via U-verse and FiOS), while having a net loss of 515,000 DSL subscribers.

- The top cable companies added over 335,000 broadband subscribers -- about 140 percent of the additions of a year ago.

- Overall, broadband additions in 2Q 2010 fell to only 53 percent of those in 2Q 2009.

The top broadband providers now account for about 73.5 million subscribers -- with cable companies having 40.5 million broadband subscribers, and telephone companies having over 32.9 million subscribers.

The top cable broadband providers now have a 55 percent share of the overall market -- a slight increase from the 54 percent share of the market they had at the end of 2Q 2009.

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