Despite continuing losses on the video end of the business, Verizon's Fios platform keeps chugging away on the broadband side, picking up data subscribers for the seventh straight quarter.
In its latest earnings release Tuesday morning, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) reported that it added 66,000 data subscribers in the first quarter, up from 35,000 in the same period a year earlier. With the increase, Verizon ended March with more than 5.9 million Fios Internet subs, up 228,000, or 4%, from a year earlier.
In contrast, Verizon shed video subscribers for the fifth straight quarter, dropping 22,000 Fios video subs, a deterioration from the 13,000 video subs it lost in the first quarter of 2017. As a result, the telco closed out March with slightly under 4.6 million video customers, down 184,000, or nearly 2%, from a year ago. (See Verizon Targets OTT Video at 5G Markets.)
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The Fios Internet customer gains were strong enough to offset the continuing erosion of Verizon's once-mighty DSL sub base. The telco shed another 59,000 DSL subscribers in the winter quarter, a slight improvement over the 62,000 subs it lost a year earlier. Due to the latest loss, Verizon entered April with less than 1.1 million DSL subs, down 273,000, or nearly 21%, from a year ago.
All told, Verizon now has just under 7 million broadband customers, down 45,000, or 0.6%, from last April. It remains the fourth largest broadband provider in the US, trailing Comcast, Charter and AT&T.
Verizon's Fios digital voice service didn't fare as well as the Internet service in the winter quarter, shedding 14,000 residential customers, a bigger drop than the 8,000 residential subs it lost a year earlier. With that decline, the provider ended March with nearly 3.9 million digital voice residential customers, a tiny bit more than a year ago.
But the digital voice and video sub losses didn't keep Verizon from raking in more cash from Fios. The operator reported nearly $3 billion in overall Fios revenues for the quarter, up 2.1% from almost $2.9 billion in early 2017.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading