The largest broadband providers in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – saw gains of 2.5 million net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2019, essentially the same as the pro forma gain of about 2.5 million subscribers in 2018, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG). But all the gains came from cable companies, while wireline telcos lost broadband subscribers.
The top wireline phone companies lost about 620,000 broadband subscribers in 2019 – compared to a net loss of about 410,000 subscribers in 2018. Most of those losses can be attributed to legacy DSL subscribers, as the largest telcos turn their broadband attention to FTTH.
“The top broadband providers added 28.4 million net broadband subscribers over the past decade, with cable companies accounting for 97% of the net broadband additions in the 2010s,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc., in a prepared statement about the U.S. broadband subscriber gains.
U.S. Broadband Subscriber Gains
As of the end of 2019, the top broadband providers combined accounted for about 101.2 million subscribers, with top cable companies having 68 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having 33.2 million subscribers.
Among other report findings:
- The top cable companies added about 3,145,000 subscribers in 2019 – compared to about 2,925,000 net adds in 2018
- Comcast had more net adds in 2019 than in any year since 2007
- Telcos had more net losses in 2019 than in any prior year
- At the end of 2019, cable had a 67% market share vs. 33% for telcos
Broadband providers are doing better on the broadband side than they are on the pay-TV side, as LRG researchers also found that the top pay-TV providers lost 5 million subscribers in 2019.
Joan Engebretson contributed to this report.
Image courtesy of flickr user Sean MacEntee.