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A Record 2.3 Million Add Broadband in First Quarter of 2004

Cable and DSL Split Quarterly Market Share

Durham, NH – May 11, 2004 – Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the twenty largest cable and DSL providers in the US – representing about 98% of the market – added a combined total of over 2.34 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2004. Net broadband additions for the quarter were the largest ever, bringing the total number of high-speed Internet subscribers for the leading US cable and DSL providers to over 26.9 million at the end of the first quarter of 2004.

DSL providers had their best quarter ever with about 1.17 million net additions – a figure that exceeded the fourth quarter of 2003, the now second-best quarter for DSL net additions, by 300,000 subscribers. This surge in subscriber additions brought DSL to a virtual dead-heat with cable in terms of market share of net additions for the quarter, improving upon DSL’s fourth quarter 2003 market share of net additions of 45%.

Other key findings include:

  • The top cable companies maintained a 6.4 million subscriber advantage over DSL, with cable now accounting for 16.67 million high-speed Internet subscribers compared to 10.26 million for DSL
  • The top cable broadband providers now have a 62% share of the total market versus 38% for DSL – this is a slight change from a year ago when cable had 64% market share versus 36% for DSL
  • Cable’s cumulative 1.17 million net additions in the quarter marked the sixth quarter out of the last seven that cable has achieved over one million net adds

“Over the past few quarters DSL providers have increased their focus on broadband with an emphasis on lower pricing. This message, along with extended availability of DSL, has clearly impacted consumer demand for DSL,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Thus far, it appears that DSL’s new found success has expanded the overall broadband market, rather than solely coming at the expense of cable’s growth.”

Broadband Internet Provider Subscribers at end of Q1 2004 Net Adds in Q1 2004
Comcast 5,678,000 394,100
Time Warner 3,421,000 193,000
Cox 2,149,969 161,442
Charter* 1,653,000 125,200
Cablevision 1,128,930 71,910
Adelphia** 1,071,938 120,532
Bright House Networks*** 650,000 30,000
Mediacom 302,000 22,000
Insight 258,000 28,000
RCN** 208,000 10,457
Cable One 147,300 13,500
Total Top Cable 16,668,137 1,170,141
SBC 3,962,000 446,000
Verizon 2,664,000 345,000
Bell South 1,618,000 156,000
Qwest 774,000 107,000
Covad*** 545,000 28,000
Sprint 349,000 45,000
ALLTEL 174,489 21,461
Cincinnati Bell 110,000 11,000
Century Tel 97,092 13,692
Total Top DSL 10,263,581 1,173,153
Total Broadband**** 26,931,718 2,343,294
Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Charter totals reflect the closing of sales of some systems
** Adelphia subscriber counts do not include properties owned by the Rigas family
*** Bright House Networks, RCN and Covad subscriber counts are estimates
**** Top cable and DSL providers represent approximately 98% of all subscribers
Company subscriber counts may not represent solely residential households

NOTE: On May 17, 2004, Covad released 1Q 2004 subscriber counts. This data, along with a revised estimate for RCN numbers based on the company's 10-Q release, can be found by clicking here for revised chart.

About Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) specializes in research and consulting on the impact and adoption of broadband products and services. LRG combines on-going surveys and analysis with years of hands-on industry experience to provide companies with a richer understanding of the opportunities and challenges in today’s broadband market. For more information about LRG, please call (603) 397-5400 or visit www.LeichtmanResearch.com.

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