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Consumer Satisfaction with Broadband Declines

Overall customer satisfaction with residential high
speed Internet service declined slightly in 2010, according to the 13th annual
J.D. Power and Associates survey of residential high-speed Internet services.
While DSL customers remained more satisfied with their broadband services than
cable modem subscribers, the gap between DSL and cable narrowed in 2010, J.D.
Power found.

Overall customer satisfaction in the 2010 survey
stood at 634 on a 1,000-point scale, a drop of five points from 2009. DSL
customers ranked their service at 638, versus 621 for cable modems, but the
difference between the two types of service narrowed by eight index points to

Overall customer satisfaction with the cost of
their service dropped by 12 points to 584 in 2010, but the percentage of customers
who actually switched service providers during the last 12 months for reasons
other than moving declined by more than 25% compared to 2009, J.D. Power found.

"Although product performance is most important in
retaining customers, the top reason they switch providers is cost related,"
said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and
Associates, in a statement. "Customers who give low ratings to their provider
in the areas of fairness of feeds and understanding the prices paid are the
most likely to switch because of price. The good news for incumbents is that
from 2009 to 2010, industry wide intention to switch remains unchanged, while
the percentage of customers who intended to switch for price actually declined
one percentage point. With price being key to retaining customers, providers
must establish that their pricing is competitive and their service is a good

Cablevision's Optimum Online ranked the highest in
the East Region at 659, narrowly beating Verizon at 658. In the south, Verizon
led with 675, WOW! won the North Central Region with 722 and Cox topped the
West with 659.

The study found that competition may improve
satisfaction. Customer satisfaction for subscribers who had only one choice for
an Internet provider was 556; customers with three options rated their service
at 653 and those with five choices average 665.

The 2010 study is based on responses from 29,847 residential customers