WASHINGTON, DC - Consumers subscribed to more than 2.3 million units of new digital broadband services during the fourth of quarter 2001 (October 1, 2001 to December 31, 2001), according to a survey of members of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA).

More than 875,000 new high speed cable modem subscribers signed up for the service during the quarter, up from 750,000 reported during the third quarter, and surpassing fourth quarter 2000 growth by 100,000 customers.

"Deployment of, and demand for, advanced broadband services continued to experience strong growth during the fourth quarter of 2001, despite general economic uncertainties, the bankruptcy of Excite@Home and the related conversion of its customers to cable-provisioned networks," said Robert Sachs, NCTA President & CEO.

High speed Internet service via cable modem is now available to more than 70 million U.S. households. More than 7.2 million customers - 17 percent of homes with PCs passed by cable systems - now subscribe to cable’s broadband Internet service. Cable modem service features "always on" capability and allows access to the Internet at speeds many times faster than standard telephone dial-up service.

According to the NCTA survey, 1.5 million new customers subscribed to digital video service in the last quarter, bringing the total number to 15.2 million. Nearly 21 percent of U.S. cable customers now subscribe to digital video services.

"The steady increase in digital broadband customers demonstrates the consumer value of cable’s advanced services," Sachs said.

Digital video services provide viewers with dozens of new programming choices through the use of digital compression technology. More than 60 new digital cable networks have been launched as well as video on demand services in some markets that provide digital cable customers with a choice of more than 350 movie titles per month.

An additional 50,000 residential customers selected cable’s competitive telephone service during fourth quarter 2001, bringing the total number of cable phone customers to more than 1.5 million. The number of cable phone customers has increased more than 50 percent since year-end 2000.

Cable phone service packages typically include numerous advanced features such as voice mail, caller ID, call waiting and call forwarding, and are deeply discounted when compared with the prices of incumbent local telephone providers.

Cable operators have invested more than $55 billion in private-risk capital since 1996 to upgrade their infrastructures to provide advanced broadband services such as digital video, high speed Internet service and cable telephone service.

NCTA is the principal trade association of the cable television industry in the United States. NCTA represents cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation's cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks, as well as equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry.

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