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Broadband Homes: Growing But Slowing

So says Pike & Fischer, predicting a decline in uptake

Fewer households will add broadband this year.

That’s according to research firm Pike & Fischer, which thinks about 4 million homes will become new high-speed Internet customers, a 10% decline in subscriber growth.

The total number of broadband-connected homes will pass 77 million or about 65% of U.S. households, it believes.

“With the economy still sputtering, both cable operators and telephone companies will see stunted growth in broadband Internet subscribers, but the telephone companies will face a particularly difficult year as they continue to lose DSL customers,” it states.

“While top telephone companies such as Verizon and AT&T are providing new fiber-optic Internet services that can exceed the speeds offered by cable, most of their service areas are covered only by DSL service, which consumers are increasingly spurning because its speeds are slower than cable. 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.”

It also believes this year will see “an uptick in adoption of next-generation wireless broadband services, particularly the WiMAX services being offered by Clearwire. 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.”