Internet subscribers migrating to cable

Phone companies just recorded their first decline in broadband customers. With landline voice taking a back seat to Internet, customers are finding that cable usually provides faster service.

The numbers are stark. The top eight phone companies lost 70,000 subscribers between April and June of this year. At the same time, the top four cable companies added 290,000 subscribers.

On the Eastern seaboard, Verizon FiOS has been a viable competition to cable, but the company has backed off from further deployment, choosing instead to cut a cross-marketing deal with the four largest cable companies. The result isn't good for consumers:

"The flow of subscribers," the AP said, "from phone companies to cable providers could lead to a de facto monopoly on broadband in many areas of the country, say industry watchers. That could mean a lack of choice and higher prices."

Phone companies see first broadband loss (AP, Aug. 13, 2012)