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Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Head to Head
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Analysts at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Deutsche Bank estimate that DSL outsold cable broadband offerings last quarter. This is the first time telcos have bested their cable brethren in the broadband market and cable still holds a commanding lead in the marketplace.

As recent as April 20, Deutsche analysts predicted a slight edge for cable in the first quarter and for cable to "likely garner about one-half of the broadband market going forward."

The L.A. Times carried the Reuters story and included this snippet:

Comcast Corp., the nation's largest broadband provider, with 5.7 million subscribers, told analysts last week it was still winning a majority of residential customers in its markets and that it saw no need for a lower-priced, lower-speed service.

Why does this matter? DSL services are typically marketed in tiers. There is a choice between at least two offerings - with corresponding price and service levels - that does not exist for cable broadband. Different technologies. Different products. Different regulatory requirements. Oh, and overlapping customer bases.

If the prospects for the future are for head-to-head battles between DSL and cable broadband, then it is high time for similar regulatory burdens. Consumers should sort out the subtle differences, not regulators.

posted by @ 4:39 PM | General

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