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Broadband Sign-Ups Predicted to Fall by 10 Percent

SILVER SPRING, Md.: Around 4 million U.S. households will sign up for high-speed Internet service this year, a 10 percent decline from 2009, according to market researcher Pike & Fischer. The firm says the total number of broadband-connected homes exceed 77 million by the end of the year, or about 65 percent of all U.S. households.

Cable and telephone companies alike will experienced slowed growth in broadband uptake, P&F say, but phone companies may get the worst of it. The big phoners are laying fiber as fast as they can, but most of their broadband provision is via DSL, which is slower than cable broadband.

“Thus, the telephone companies will add only about 1.7 million new broadband subscribers over the course of the year. The cable industry will capture about 2.1 million new broadband subscribers,” P&F said.

Adoption of wireless broadband is expected to increase in 2010, “particularly the WiMAX services being offered by Clearwire,” the company said. “Top cable operators like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, along with Google and Intel, are investors in Clearwire and have agreed to market Clearwire services to their customers. Clearwire is also marketing its services through independent resellers and large electronics retail chains. The company stands to add 387,000 new subscribers to its WiMAX service during 2010.”