Research firm ARS reported that cable modem service providers had a larger percentage gain in subscribers than DSL providers for the third quarter.
For a variety of reasons DSL has lagged behind cable as the consumer's choice, but the telephone-line based broadband service has, until the third quarter, been adding more customers per quarter then cable. The five largest cable companies increased their broadband subscriber base by 14 percent, or 624,000, just nipping the top five DSL firms, which managed to boost their subscriber level by 13 percent or 392,000.
About 519,000 people added cable modems in the second quarter down from the 770,000 that joined in the first quarter of the year. Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast, Cox and Charter now have a total of 5.1 million cable subscribers.
DSL firms SBC, Verizon, BellSouth, Qwest and Covad now have 3.3 million.
With the third-quarter numbers included, cable managed to increase its subscriber lead over DSL to 30 percent, or 1.8 million people, and the top five cable dealers now control 51 percent of the U.S. broadband market, according to ARS.