A new report predicts cable will add more digital subs than DBS this year and maintain its lead in the total number of digital subs. The 270-page Convergence Consulting report that examines TV, Internet and phone notes the basic blues may be ending. "With more cable VoIP roll out in ’05 …, higher cable broadband speeds (we expect further speed rises) and increased demand for DVRs, HDTV, VOD/SVOD, tied into competitively priced triple play bundles, as well as Adelphia’s assets performing better; we forecast cable will lose less basic and add more digital subs in ’05 and ’06, than in ’04." Still, DBS is taking a larger share of new digital subs this year than it did in ’03, prompting Convergence to raise its ’04-’06 forecast for satellite. The firm projects cable will add the same number of HSD subs per annum ’04-’06, keeping its dominant market position even as DSL continues to make strides. "Cablevision and Cox have shown that when cable offers higher ‘Net speeds (than residential DSL) tied into a discounted triple play bundle, cable can keep both RBOCs and satellite from taking significant ground," the report said. Still, more discounts to RBOC-satellite bundles and RBOC fiber plans will further challenge the industry, it said.

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Gordon Smith ’s remarks at NAB ’s State Leadership Conference Tuesday centered on COVID-19, much like everything else has these past 14 months. “We ended last year with a major victory on Capitol Hill

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