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Study: Cable modem growth to continue

Cable modems will be used by 57.5 million subscribers worldwide by 2005, according to a new study released by market research firm IDC.

    Cable modems will be used by 57.5 million subscribers worldwide by 2005, according to a new study released Monday.

    IDC, a large market research firm, expects the cable modem industry to continue its fast growth. Cable modems, the leading high-speed Internet access option ahead of DSL (digital subscriber lines), grew about 178 percent to 7.2 million customers in 2000. Cable modem equipment revenue grew 122 percent last year.

    In the U.S. market, subscriptions to cable modem services such as Excite@Home and Road Runner grew 171 percent to 3.8 million customers, the study found. The United States represents 53 percent of the global cable modem market.

    But Western Europe is poised for growth, IDC said. Western European countries will produce 17.7 million cable modem subscribers, up from 1 million last year.

    As a result of European broadband expansion, fueled by new broadband content, the United States' worldwide cable modem market share will fall to 36 percent.

    In addition, IDC predicted cable modems will face encroachment from DSL and must continue to try to thwart installation and growth problems.

    Previously, IDC had forecast strong growth for DSL services.