Broadband Providers Post Net Gains in 2022, but Fall Short of 2021: Leichtman

The largest cable and wireless providers saw broadband subscriber gains in 2022, but not quite as good as the prior year, according to the Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

The providers, which LRG says represents about 95% of the market, added about 3.5 million net broadband Internet subscribers last year, compared to 3.75 million during the previous year. 

In all, the top broadband providers had about 110.5 million subscribers as of year-end 2022. This was divided between cable companies (75.6 million subscribers), phone company wireline offerings (30.8 million) and fixed wireless (4.1 million).

Other highlights from the report:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 2022 were 94% of those in 2021
  • The top cable companies added about 515,000 subscribers in 2022. This was far less than the 2.8 million net adds in 2021
  • The top wireline phone companies lost about 180,000 total broadband subscribers in 2022. This result was far less than the 210,000 net adds in 2021
  • Wireline telcos had about 2.4 million net adds via fiber in 2022. This was offset by about 2.6 million non-fiber net losses
  • Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 3,170,000 subscribers in 2022. This was far more than the 730,000 net adds in 2021

The top three cable companies all had net gains. Comcast added 250,000 subscribers, Charter added 344,000 subscribers and Cox added 30,000.

As for the telcos, AT&T had 118,000 net losses, Verizon had 119,000 net adds, and Lumen had 253,000 net losses– a figure that includes the impact of the divestiture of Brightspeed.

The fixed wireless sector was dominated by T-Mobile (2 million net adds) and Verizon (1,171,000 net adds).

“Fixed wireless services accounted for 90% of the net broadband additions in 2022, compared to 20% of the net adds in 2021,” LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a press release about the broadband subscriber gains. “Total broadband net adds in 2022 were slightly lower than last year, and down from about 5 million in 2020, but were more than in any year from 2012-2019.”

LRG reported last May that cable, telco and fixed wireless providers netted about 1.065 million broadband Internet subscribers during the first quarter of 2022.

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