Faster & faster! The US now has 82.4 million broadband connections

Americans continue to spend big on their internet needs, and that is reflected in the robust demand for broadband during the first three months of 2013. Data collected by Leichtman Research Group, a Durham, NH-based market research company, shows that the top broadband providers in the U.S. added 1.1 million (net) new connections over that period, bringing the total number of broadband subscribers to about 82.4 million.

According to their research, cable companies have about 47.5 million broadband subscribers, while the remainder are with the phone companies. Cable companies added about 800,000 new subscribers, about 72 percent of the total for the month. The top two phone companies — AT&T (s T) and Verizon (s VZ) — saw a decline of 696,000 DSL accounts but added a total of 919,000 fiber subscribers. FIber-based broadband now accounts for about 40 percent of AT&T and Verizon’s total broadband customer base.

Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, pointed out that typically the first quarter is better than the second and third quarters of the year, and “2013 began with another strong first quarter.” Net broadband additions in Q1 2013 were about 500,000 more than in Q4 2012, and that bodes well for rest of the year.

A resurgent housing market and stronger economy along with our growing need for speed and connectivity are the reasons why demand for U.S. broadband is booming. Here are some numbers to give you an idea as to who is winning and who is losing.