Broadband subs slump in 2008

The telco broadband market experienced a significant downturn in new subscriber additions during 2008, according to iSuppli Corp.

"New telco broadband subscriber growth saw a 9.1 per cent decline in 2008 following double-digit gains during the prior five years," said Steve Rago, principal analyst, broadband and digital Home for iSuppli. Hardest hit was North America, with new subscriber additions in 2008 amounting to 3.1 million, down 56.1 per cent from 6.5 million in 2007.

Driven by the need to upgrade the broadband access network, new Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) connections grew by 90 per cent and new VDSL connections grew by 54 per cent compared to 2007. In the cable world, many European and American operators introduced DOCSIS 3.0, significantly increasing broadband access data rates.

Telco TV was a major driver of high-speed access upgrades during 2008. Virtually every telephone company and competitive access supplier deployed or made plans to deploy television services during 2008. Overall telco TV subscribers grew by 8.8 million to end 2008 at a total of 18.5 million.

MSOs, led by Comcast and Time Warner, added 4.3 million new voice subscribers, most of which were previously telephone subscribers. The MSOs in North America also won the battle for the broadband connection, adding 4 million subscribers compared to 2 million for the telephone companies.

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