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Cable may have slight edge over DSL

Cable-based broadband services will prevail over telephone wire-based digital subscriber line (DSL) in the battle for dominance among wireline broadband technologies. At least this is the word to emer...


September 1, 2001  


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Cable-based broadband services will prevail over telephone wire-based digital subscriber line (DSL) in the battle for dominance among wireline broadband technologies. At least this is the word to emerge from a new study by Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) of Oyster Bay, NY.

The study, Cable vs. DSL: The Race Is On, found that revenues from cable broadband access subscriber fees will triple in the next five years — from US$75 billion in 2001 to US$22.2 billion in 2006. The subscriber base is expected to grow from 14.2 to 48.7 during the same time frame.

“DSL providers have been sitting on their technology for too long, and in the last three years have been in too much of a race to catch up with cable access to satisfactorily resolve issues of supply, deployment and shared infrastructure,” says Mark M. Fox, an ABI broadband analyst and author of the report. “They will certainly regroup, and DSL will still be a major player in the wireline broadband market, but by then, cable operators will have a firm grip on the market.”

The study also found that cable modem technology will “capitalize on its technological edge over the copper wire-based DSL.”

ABI says that due to the baby Bells’ reluctance to share their networks with competitive LECs, in addition to the financial troubles of smaller DSL-oriented providers and rising access fees, the rollout of DSL has slowed compared to the 2000 projections. The market research company says the technology remains popular as a less expensive alternative to ISDN and is expected to flourish abroad, especially in the Asia-Pacific region where geographical conditions are not favourable for cable infrastructure deployment.


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