The Continued Growth of Broadband

Broadband sales continue to boom at Comcast and Time Warner and the largest cable companies as a group added over 787,000 customers in the third quarter of the year. The largest telcos lost 143,000 customers for a net increase of 644,000 new broadband customers for the quarter. Not included in these numbers are the small telcos and cable companies as well as the FTTP providers and municipalities.

The counts for the largest companies are as follows for the quarter:

‘                                                           End of 3Q                   New in 3Q

Comcast                                              22.9 M                         320,000

Time Warner Cable                            13.0 M                         246,000

Charter                                                  5.4 M                         147,000

Cablevision                                           2.8 M                              3,000

Suddenlink                                            1.2 M                           21,600

Mediacom                                             1.1 M                           16,000

WOW                                                      0.7 M                              (800)

Cable ONE                                             0.5 M                              (171)

Other large cable companies              6.7 M                          35,000

Total Large Cable                                54.3 M                        787,629

AT&T                                                     15.8 M                      (129,000)

Verizon                                                   9.2 M                            2,000

CenturyLink                                           6.1 M                         (37,000)

Frontier                                                  2.4 M                          27,000

Windstream                                           1.1 M                        (11,200)

FairPoint                                                 0.3 M                          (1,338)

Cincinnati Bell                                       0.3 M                            6,200

Total Large Telcos                                35.2 M                      (143,338)

Total Large Companies                       89.5 M                        644,291

You have to be a little careful in looking at the telco numbers because many of those companies are seeing increases in higher bandwidth products while seeing continuing erosion in the older and slower DSL products. For example, Verizon FiOS added 114,000 fiber customers for the quarter but lost almost the same number of DSL customers. AT&T said they gained 172,000 IP broadband customers, which is a combination of those on U-verse and fiber.

The 89.5 million broadband customers of these large companies represent over 66% of all households in the country (135 million total households). These companies actually serve more customers than shown. For example, there are many cases where these companies sell broadband to an apartment owner that then distributes it to the apartment units.

For the cable companies the quarterly increase of 787,629 is an annual growth rate of 5.8% and will annualize out to over 3 million new broadband subscribers. It’s obvious that more and more households are finding it mandatory to have a broadband connection and the whole market keeps creeping upward.

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