DSL Gains Subscribers At A Cost

DSL Gains Subscribers At A Cost

According to Parks Associates' Broadband Market Updates: Beyond Bandwidth, DSL service providers have reversed their fortunes in new subscribers, averaging in the past 12 months 200,000 more new accounts per quarter than their cable counterparts, but they have sacrificed revenues to do so.

The report found that starting in the second quarter of 2005, DSL service providers averaged 1.4 million new subscribers over a period of four quarters, while cable providers averaged 1.2 million new subscribers. This finding reverses the trend from the previous four quarters, when cable operators led new-subscriber growth by the same margin of 200,000.

Average Quarterly New Subscription Additions and Revenue Per User


Q2 2004-Q1 2005


Q2 2005-Q1 2006

Average Revenue Per Subscriber

Q1 2006









Source: Parks Associates, 2006

According to the report, the ARPU (average revenue per user) for DSL services was $34 in the first quarter of 2006, compared with $41 for cable modem services. The highest variance was $18, between the DSL service provider with the lowest ARPU and the cable operator with the highest ARPU.

Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, director of broadband and gaming at Parks Associates, said "For the next few quarters, DSL service providers will continue to lead in new-subscriber growth. Our Q1 2006 consumer data show that among people intending to subscribe to broadband, 48% prefer DSL services and only 18% prefer cable modem services..."

For more on this report, find Parks here.

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