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Americans Continue Buying Broadband At Record Pace

Americans continued to sign up for broadband -- both cable and DSL-- at record rates in the first quarter, according to a report from the Leichtman Research Group.

A total of 3.06 million net additional subscribers signed up for broadband in the quarter, bringing the total of high-speed Web subscribers to nearly 46 million. Nearly 25.8 million subscribers have cable, while DSL is used by about 20.2 million subscribers.

In announcing the findings Monday, Leichtman noted that more subscribers have signed up for DSL than for cable broadband in each of the last six quarters. Even so, cable broadband providers continue to maintain a 5.6 million-subscriber lead over DSL.

"With the second quarter being a consistently slower quarter for broadband adds, it is unlikely that the record-setting trend will continue," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for the market research firm, in a statement. "But clearly there are millions of dial-up subscribers ready to switch to broadband in the near future."

Leichtman said 85 percent of cable broadband lines boasted speeds over 2.5 Mbps compared to 14 percent of DSL lines. He said his survey covers about 94 percent of the market providers.