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Phone companies see loss of broadband subscribers for first time in Q2, cable continues to gain

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
August 14, 2012
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It wasn't all that long ago that the phone company was the source for internet access, first with traditional dial-up and later with DSL. That quickly began to change as cable companies started offering their own alternative, though, and the AP is now reporting that the second quarter of this year saw something of a milestone. According to its tally, the eight largest phone companies in the US lost a collective 70,000 broadband subscribers in Q2 (DSL or otherwise), while the four biggest cable companies continued to grow with 290,000 new subscribers. As it notes, AT&T is the main culprit for that overall decline, with it losing 96,000 broadband subscribers while the other phone companies all saw modest growth. It also notes that second quarter is a generally weak one for all broadband providers, what with college students cancelling their subscriptions before heading home -- but, then again, this is the first time that the phone companies haven't seen at least some growth during the period. Of course, this is also just home broadband we're talking about -- mobile broadband is another matter altogether.

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