Broadband growth is on a tear, and, according to several studies, shows no signs of slowing up.

According to the Durham, N.H.-based Leichtman Research Group (LRG), cable and DSL providers in the United States acquired a record 3.06 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2006. Combined, the two groups of providers account for 94 percent of the broadband market with nearly 46 million high-speed Internet subscribers.

Of the two, DSL performed slightly better, adding a record 1.66 million subscribers, more than half of the net growth in subscribers for the quarter. Cable providers came in at a close second, with more than 1.4 million new subscribers. 

LRG reports that 69 percent of all U.S. households now subscribe to an online service at home, and high-speed Internet services now account for about 60 percent of all online subscribers.

With that kind of demand, broadband growth is poised to continue on other fronts as well. According to the London-based Informa Telecoms & Media, the number of 3.5G mobile broadband subscribers worldwide will boom more than ten-fold from 2.5 million in 2006 to more than 300 million in 2011.

Although a lack of compelling devices and content will restrain growth in the near term, the company predicts that handsets will mature in 2008, leading to a sharp increase in 3.5G handset sales and subscribers in 2008–2009.

By 2011, 85 percent of 3.5G devices sold will be handsets. The remaining 15 percent will be notebooks and PC cards.