Survey: Dial-Up Users Lean Toward DSL

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Cable may have the numbers lead over its digital-subscriber-line rivals, but
dial-up users would still rather upgrade to broadband via DSL, according to a
new study put out by J.D. Power and Associates.

The consumer-marketing-information service’s annual "Internet Service
Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study" found that 52% of dial-up
customers considering the leap to broadband would seek DSL if DSL and
cable-modem service were both available to them. By comparison, the number that
would lean toward cable-modem connections was 38%.

This occurred despite the fact cable providers have the lead in overall
broadband subscribers. In the U.S. Internet universe, 17% use cable-modem
connections, 9% access via DSL and the remaining 74% of users are on
dial-up.

"DSL providers are having a lot of success convincing consumers that they
have an advantage over cable, particularly in the area of price," said Steve
Kirkeby, senior director of telecommunications research at J.D. Power, in a
release.

"Price continues to be the No. 1 reason to switch providers among dial-up and
high-speed Internet subscribers," he added. "However, widespread availability is
a critical hurdle that DSL providers haven’t yet been able to jump."

Among broadband providers, EarthLink Inc. claimed the top spot in overall
customer satisfaction based on customer service, image, electronic mail, cost of
service, billing and offerings and promotions.

EarthLink was followed by BellSouth Corp., Time Warner Cable’s Road Runner,
Cox Communications Inc. and the SBC Communications Inc.-Yahoo! Inc. co-branded
service.

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