broadbandThe number of broadband subscribers for the largest cable and telephone operators in the U.S. grew by 1.165 million in the first quarter, the highest growth in five years, according to new research about U.S. broadband subscriber growth from the Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG).

The research firm added that these top broadband providers now account for about 102.4 million subscribers. The top cable companies have 69.2 million broadband subscribers and top wireline phone companies report 33.2 million subscribers.

Among LRG’s findings for the first quarter of 2020:

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  • Broadband additions were 122% of those in the first quarter of 2019
  • Broadband additions overall were the most in any quarter since the first quarter of 2015

U.S. Broadband Subscriber Growth
The top cable companies added about 1,230,000 subscribers – 132% of the net adds for the top cable companies in the first quarter of 2019.

Cable broadband net additions were the most in any quarter since the first quarter of 2007.

The top wireline phone companies had a net loss of about 65,000 subscribers– compared to a net gain of about 20,000 subscribers in the first quarter of last year.

Over the past year, there were about 2,750,000 net broadband adds – compared to about 2,635,000 net broadband adds during the prior year

“With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in 1Q 2020 than in any quarter in five years,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc, said in a prepared statement about the U.S. broadband subscriber growth research. “Top cable companies performed particularly well, having the most net additions for cable broadband services in any quarter in thirteen years.”

The new broadband customers are helping to fuel enormous traffic growth. An earlier report from OpenVault said the ongoing pandemic had resulted in almost a year’s worth of broadband traffic growth in two weeks, as Telecompetitor reported.

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