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Report: Cable Broadband Booms With 'The Bundle'

As telephony companies' DSL offerings gain on cable-modem broadband for Internet usage, the cable providers are increasingly fighting back with a marketing weapon used by the telephone companies: the bundle.

According to a report released Tuesday by IDC, the attractiveness of cable modems is being enhanced by packaging features. "The key to success for the cable operators is the continued bundling of video and voice services with cable-modem Internet access products," IDC stated. The "Worldwide Cable Modem Services 2004-2008 Forecast" predicts that worldwide broadband cable subscriptions will move to nearly 70 million in 2008, from almost 33 million in 2003.

The report noted that in the cable-DSL broadband universe in the U.S., cable-modem subscriptions are 1.5 times the number of DSL subscriptions, while DSL leads cable in most other regions of the world. Cable providers are increasingly offering telephone service in their bundles and, as telephone firms begin to install optical fiber, they expect to offer video capability to counter the flagship television and video offerings of cable firms.

The report also notes that there should be 2.5 million business cable-modem users in 2008. The dominant position of cable in the U.S. is underscored by the fact that the U.S. represented nearly 47 percent of the world's cable-modem subscribers in 2003.