Broadband Future Is Bright
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Dialing up could be phasing out, according to reports that predict robust growth in the broadband industry. While 2002 began with more than 32 million subscribers, In-Stat/MDR expects worldwide subscriber totals to surpass 46 million by the end of the year, and eMarketer forecasts 117 million broadband households worldwide in 2004.
eMarketer found that while North America held the lead through 2001 with 13.5 million households (of which 8.2 million are cable Internet users, and 5 million are DSL subscribers), the Asia-Pacific region will contain more broadband subscriptions than North America and Latin America combined at nearly 50 million by 2004.
Interestingly, In-Stat/MDR research indicates that DSL is the connection of worldwide choice. DSL subscriptions surpassed 17 million, with the service's popularity mostly attributed to the sharp rise in the number of DSL subscribers in the in the Asia-Pacific region. However, in the U.S., cable modems continue to outnumber DSL subscriptions 7.12 million households are cable modem-equipped and only 4.6 million are using DSL as of the beginning of 2002.
Accounting for 5 percent of the broadband market are less popular technologies, such as satellite broadband, fiber-to-the-home, and fixed wireless service.
"High speed Internet growth was clearly a bright spot in an otherwise very challenging quarter for the cable industry," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. "Cable continues to grow its high speed Internet base, and strongly outpaces DSL providers in adding new subscribers."
|U.S. Cable vs. DSL, Second Quarter 2002|
|Broadband Internet Subs||Net 2Q Adds|
|Total Top Cable||8,859,407||909,936|
|Total Top DSL||4,690,000||460,000|
|Source: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc. All data from Q2 2002, except Adelphia from Q4 2001 (last reported information) Subscriber counts may not represent solely residential households. For example, Charter Communications notes that commercial accounts are calculated on an equivalent modem unit (EMU) basis, and represent about 8 percent of its modem subscribers.|