Cable Outpaces Telco Broadband Growth

Phone companies no longer aggressively discount Internet plans to win new customers.

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It seems clearer that the days of cheaper broadband are drawing to a close or at least a pause. Telephone companies, which had pushed down access rates, are curtailing their price-cutting to woo new subscribers, according to a new report.

As a result, cable companies are again beating telcos at adding broadband subscribers. The first quarter of this year was the first since 2004 that the cablecos added more broadband users than did the telephone companies, the report from Leichtman Research Group says.

AT&T, for one, has raised the monthly charge for many of its DSL plans. Some cable companies, including Comcast, have offered a smattering of lower-priced tiers, but they still remain generally more expensive than telcos' offerings.