|A study titled "Broadband and the Home of Tomorrow," the Consumer Electronics Association says that the war between cable and DSL providers is in full swing. According to the report, the US now ranks 15th in the world in terms of the percentage of households with broadband. Over 43 million US households have broadband access of some sort. Dial-up is now used in only 36 percent of US households, down from 60 percent in 2003.|
DSL and cable are neck-and-neck, with each delivery method accounting for 29 percent of the home Internet access market. In contrast, cable had 15 percent of the market in 2000, while DSL accounted for a measly 4 percent.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, DSL rules the roost. 61 percent of consumers would recommend the service to a friend or family member, compared with only 46 percent for cable. Behind those figures loom the key service differentiators: speed and price. Cable subscribers are more likely to be happy with the speed of their service (76 percent) than DSL users (69 percent) and dial-up users (26 percent). The bigger factor, however, appears to be price.
DSL providers have been extremely aggressive with pricing over the past couple of years in an attempt to grab the lion's share of broadband customers. That continues today, with AT&T offering residential DSL (up to 1.5Mbps) for as little as US$12.99 during the first year of service. Low prices resonate well with cost-conscious consumers, with only 26 percent of cable Internet users happy with the price they pay for service. Contrast that with the 46 percent of DSL users and 53 percent of dial-up users who are happy with the price.
With DSL priced to move, why aren't more people abandoning pokey dial-up connections? Strange as it may seem to those of us who spend a lot of time online, some people just don't want or see the need for broadband. Up to 18 percent of current Internet users have no plans to upgrade to broadband at any price...