I saw a blog on wired.com last week talking about the slowdown in broadband expansion in the US. This theory was based off of AT&T’s super lackluster numbers when it came to adding broadband customers.
The company added a modest 46,000 broadband subscribers during the quarter, a screaming decline from 491,000 additions in the first-quarter 2008; and down sharply from the 400,000 subscribers added in the second quarter 2007.
The people at AT&T think the numbers will rebound when the real estate market bounces back. I agree with this but one factor keeps getting overlooked: AT&T is DSL.
Why is this important? If I want to use a telecom provider’s DSL service, such as AT&T, I have to have a standard phone line first. You cannot call up AT&T and say, "hey I want DSL." They’ll reply with "what’s your phone number?" When you say "I don’t have one I just have a cell phone" they’ll immediately transfer you over to the land line folks and make you get a phone line.
Cable doesn’t make you do that.
If I want a cable modem from Cox or Comcast and no cable the cable companies can seem to work that out without any problem. How come a phone company can’t?
So to answer the question as to why AT&T added so few subscribers I see it this way:
-People can get fast speed’s with the local cable company AND phone service if they want.
-People realize that they don’t need a land line when they’re already paying X dollars a month to a mobile phone company.
-Texting is becoming more popular
-Younger people are growing up and older people are dying. Younger people = mobile phones. Older people=land lines.
This is not all of the reasons but you get my drift. By the way Verizon’s earnings were outstanding thanks in large part to their growth in wireless customers and Fios system (fiber optic cable right to your house). I guess AT&T stuck with that name for a reason…there acting as old as they sound.
And now the broadband market isn’t slowing down. Video viewing is still on the rise and bandwidth is still increasing.
I’ve covered this many times but it always gets me fired up