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Cable ISPs boom as landline broadband subscriptions dwindle

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A report by the Associated Press indicates that Q2 of this year marked the biggest loss of landline subscribers since 2010.


People aren't just leaving their landlines for the convenience of smartphones; they're leaving them for high-speed cable internet, too. A new report by the Associated Press indicates that the eight largest US telephone companies lost nearly 70,000 broadband customer in Q2 of this year-the first collective drop since 2010, which accounted for a loss of only 1,600 members. Of the telecom providers, AT&T was hit hardest, reportedly losing 96,000 DSL subscribers. In contrast, the top four cable companies in the nation gained 290,000 subscribers in Q2.

Despite the added cost of cable internet service, it would seem that many customers are being drawn by cable's comparatively high speeds, which can be tens of times faster in some areas. Experts like Harvard Professor Susan Crawford worry the price of broadband as the market homogenizes, telling Ars Technica that "'ll pay whatever it is the local cable player wants to charge you, because that local cable operator isn't constrained by competition or regulatory oversight." With 100Mbit connections going for as little as $24.57 per month in some countries, it seems like we might already be feeling the sting of a market in competitive decline.