Broadband growth slows, confirms study

U.S. telephone and cable companies saw the growth of high-speed Internet services slow in the second quarter to the lowest rate in a year, an industry research firm reported last week.

While broadband growth typically slumps in the second quarter as college students disconnect for summer break, analysts have said overall sales of high-speed Internet connections were less than expected.

There are now close to 30 million households with broadband, Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research, told Reuters.

According to Leichtman, the 20 largest U.S. broadband carriers added 1.7 million subscribers during the second quarter, the lowest total in a year. The 20 largest companies now have 28.6 million high-speed Internet users and account for about 95 percent of the market.

The nine largest phone companies added 895,336 broadband customers, while the top 11 cable companies added 830,791 broadband customers, their lowest total since the fourth quarter of 2001.

Telephone and cable companies have been pushing broadband services as a lucrative growth business and a way to hold onto customers who would otherwise switch their phone or television service to competitors. Executives from several companies said over the past few weeks they expected the growth of broadband services to pick up in the second half of the year.

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