The year 2002 might not be remembered as a stellar financial year, but it
wasn't too shabby for cable's high-speed-data players.
A new statistical roundup from Kinetic Strategies Inc. showed that cable
operators outpaced their digital-subscriber-line competitors nearly two-to-one
in the fourth quarter of 2002, adding 1.2 million broadband customers compared
with DSL's 639,000. That translates to an addition pace for cable of 21,250 new
By the end of the year, there were 13.2 million cable-modem subscribers and
6.8 million DSL customers in the United States and Canada.
In the United States alone, combined residential cable-modem and DSL
subscribers hit the 16.7 million mark at the end of the year, equaling a
broadband household-penetration rate of 15.9 percent. In Canada, the count hit
3.3 million, with a penetration rate of 29 percent.
Not surprisingly, Comcast Corp., boosted by its AT&T Broadband
acquisition, held the top spot in broadband subscribers. It added 367,000 new
residential data subscribers in the fourth quarter for a total of 3.6
Time Warner Cable came in second, adding 300,000 cable-modem customers in the
final 2002 quarter for a total of 2.6 million. These top two players now account
for 58 percent of the total U.S. cable-modem homes passed, claiming 55 percent
of total cable subscribers and 37 percent of all residential broadband Internet
They were trailed by fellow MSOs Cox Communications Inc. (1.4 million
subscribers), Charter Communications Inc. (1.1 million) and Cablevision Systems