Cable is Killing It with Broadband, Best Broadband Additions Since 2007

The largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S. – representing more than 95 percent of the total market, acquired nearly 1.25 million net additional subscribers during the second quarter of the year, more than three times the 375,000 net subscribers gained during the same year ago period, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group.

Once again, however, growth was mainly on the cable side, while phone companies as a group lost subscribers. The net broadband additions were the most in any quarter since the first quarter of 2012.

With the most recent gains, the top broadband providers have about 103.3 million subscribers, including the 70.6 million subscribers of cable companies and the 32.7 million subscribers of top wireline phone companies.

Other findings in the Leichtman Research Group report included:

• The top cable companies added about 1.4 million subscribers in the quarter, compared to a net gain of about 530,000 subscribers in the same period last year.
• Cable broadband net additions were the most in any quarter since the first quarter of 2007.
• Charter’s 850,000 net adds in the second quarter of 2020 were more than for any provider in any previous quarter.
• The top wireline phone companies had a net loss of about 155,000 subscribers in the quarter, compared to a net loss of about 160,000 subscribers in the same year ago period.
• The smaller telephone companies were the ones that saw broadband gains. While AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier lost subscribers, Windstream, Consolidated, TDS and Cincinnati Bell had subscriber gains.

“With the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in 2Q 2020 than in any quarter in eight years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc., in a prepared statement. “In the first half of 2020, there were over 2.4 million net broadband additions. This is the most net adds in the first half of any year since 2008.”


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