Cable's winning broadband trend continued, as US operators garnered another 2.7 million broadband subscribers in 2017 while telcos lost about 625,000, according to Leichtman Research Group.
In total, cablecos represented 130% of net broadband additions for last year, the research firm found. Of those, the top 14 cableco and telco providers -- which account for all but 5% of the US market -- added 2.1 million high-speed broadband Internet subscribers in 2017. These represented 78% of the 2.7 million additions in 2016, the researcher reported.
Scorecard: Wins & Losses
Data sources: Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* WOW's total is from the end of 3Q 2017 due to a delay in 4Q 2017 reporting
** Cable ONE does not include the NewWave acquisition in 2Q 2017
^ Includes LRG estimate for Cox
^^ FairPoint was acquired by Consolidated Communications in 3Q 2017, total is reported connects acquired at that time Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Top cable and telephone companies represent approximately 95% of all subscribers
Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, and reporting adjustments; therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases may not produce accurate findings
Certain cablecos continue to thrive: Comcast, for example, has added more than 1 million broadband subscribers for each year between 2010 and 2017, Leichtman Research said. Competitor Charter has accomplished that same figure between 2014 and 2017, it noted. This ongoing success combined with top cablecos' over-the-top (OTT) apps, strategic partnerships and acquisitions, plus huge fiber investments, make the concept of national provider consolidation more -- rather than less -- likely within a few years. Now, in her Light Reading article, Senior Editor Mari Silbey discusses nationwide video, but why stop there? Why not extend it to broadband too? (See Warning: US Cablecos Will Go National.)
"The top broadband providers in the US added nearly 4.8 million net broadband subscribers over the past two years," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, in a statement. "The top cable companies accounted for 130% of the net broadband additions in 2017, following 122% of the net adds in 2016."
But telcos lost 625,000 subscribers in 2017, slightly more than the 600,000 lost the prior year, the report said.
There are exceptions within the broad telco group, however. Both AT&T and Cincinnati Bell added broadband subscribers. AT&T increased its broadband subscriber base by 114,000, while much smaller telco Cincinnati Bell added 5,500 subscribers to its base, Leichtman determined.
During prepared comments to a conservative group in Maine, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai outlined his concerns with several states' independent moves to reinstate the 2015 laws governing the Internet.
Under a partnership announced today, Deutsche Telekom and United Smart Cities will help metro leaders with smart-city projects, ultimately leading to integrated solutions and a shareable database equipped with analytics tools for deep dives.
The MSO has pivoted from being a traditional cable operator into a connectivity provider, said Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York this week.
AT&T is closer to deploying AirGig, following successful trials, and now seeks vendor partners to work on technologies that it believes will bring broadband closer to rural customers across power lines.
Fast, reliable broadband is essential to how we live, work and play today – and the upcoming arrival of 5G will only further increase demand and reliance on fiber infrastructure. Already viewed by consumers as intolerable, delays, outages or the regular maintenance difficulties associated with operating a network will become further exacerbated when residential subscribers further rely on connected devices for day-to-day life. Just as providers deploy network automation tools to reduce operational issues, they must take similar care to manage consumer expectations when they roll out fiber or new services. This webinar features leaders who will discuss how to manage marketing and consumer expectations at every stage of the network lifecycle. Marketing professionals, c-level executives and policymakers interested in drumming up fiber envy should attend.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.