Broadband Users Rise


hispeed1.jpgADOTAS — The Obama broadband revolution has already begun, and he hasn’t even take office yet.

The top 20 cable and telephone providers in the US signed up 1.3 million new high-speed Internet subscribers in the third quarter of 2008, according to the Leichtman Research Group. Cable companies have 36.5 million broadband subscribers, and telephone companies have about 30.2 million subscribers. Legislators, telecom companies and advocates are pushing for increasing the availability and building greater quality high-speed web access in the U.S already, including asking for some $25 billion as part of the president-elect’s stimulus package.

“Over the past two quarters the top cable providers accounted for 71% of the net broadband additions… cable’s recent success… is more a function of the telcos’ shift in focus towards higher value subscribers while cable has been… marketing broadband as part of its nearly ubiquitously available Triple Play bundles,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG, Inc.

Now tax breaks and subsidies, and maybe some altruistic reasons, are a big reason for advocates to push for government aid to speed broadband. But if broadband is already expanding because of consumers tastes, does it need taxpayer support?

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