The cable industry's push into the local phone industry showed double-digit growth in the first half of this year, the Federal Communications Commission reported Monday.
Through June 30, 2002, cable operators controlled 2.6 million phone lines, up 16 percent since Dec. 31, 2001, the FCC said.
Cox Communications Inc. and AT&T Broadband (now Comcast Corp.) have been the most aggressive cable operators in the local phone business. Comcast, however, is not planning a big telephony effort over the next 12 months, opting to concentrate on upgrades to AT&T Broadband's systems and boosting operating performance.
The FCC said cable's 2.6 million phone lines represented 12 percent of the 22 million lines controlled by companies taking on the established phone firms.
The U.S. has 189 million terrestrial phone lines and 129 million wireless phone subscribers.