High-Speed Access Race Heating Up; Cable in Lead
According to Broadcom Corporation's chief financial officer, William Ruehle, cable companies are clearly leading the race to reduce this limitation. Speaking at a technology conference in San Francisco, Ruehle said that cable modems, currently retailing at around $300, provide the fastest access for the largest number of customers. Over 700,000 cable-modem installations were completed by the end of last year, compared to only 50,000 high-speed telephone lines.
Cable-based Internet access will grow even faster this year, Ruehle said, pointing to the recent acquisition of Tele-Communications Inc., the nation's largest cable provider, by AT&T Corporation, the nation's largest telephone company. AT&T also owns AtHome Corp., which makes cable modems. The devices will soon drop in price to around $150, further lowering the entrance requirements for top-quality Internet access.
Broadcom makes integrated circuits for both cable and telephone modems, including those for use with DSLs (digital subscriber lines). The company's revenue has increased by a factor of more than ten within two years, to $70 million in its most recent quarter. Ruehle said Broadcom is "aggressively pursuing" both the cable and telephone markets.