The number of new U.S. broadband subscribers added by the nation’s largest broadband providers more than doubled year-over-year in 1Q 2014, shooting 105 percent over 4Q 2013. Accounting for 93 percent of the market, the U.S.’ top 17 cable companies and telcos saw their broadband subscriber bases grow a net 1.2 million in this year’s first quarter, according to the latest market data from Leichtman Research Group (LRG).
“With nearly 1.2 million net additions in the first quarter of 2014, broadband providers had their best quarter in two years,” Bruce Leichtman, LRG president and principal analyst, was quoted in a news release. “If recent history is an indicator, however, gains will be slower over the next couple of quarters. In each of the past four years, net adds in the first quarter were greater than in the second and third quarters combined.”
Top cable companies accounted for 83 percent of net broadband subscriber additions in 1Q, adding some 970,000 new customers. That’s 121 percent of their net additions in 1Q 2013, LRG notes. Top telcos added some 200,000 subscribers in 1Q, 64 percent of their total net additions from last year’s first quarter.
Taken together, the broadband subscriber bases of the largest U.S. cable companies and telcos totaled over 85.5 million, with cable providers having a total of 50.3 million and telcos 35.2 million as of end 1Q, according to LRG’s latest market research.
Tops among cable service providers, Comcast added a net 383,000 broadband subscribers during 1Q, bringing its market-leading total to 21.07 million. Time Warner followed, adding 283,000 to bring its overall subscriber base to 11.89 million. Charter Communications followed, adding a net 148,000 broadband subscribers in 1Q, bringing its total subscriber base to 4.78 million.
Among telcos, AT&T was tops, adding a net 78,000 new broadband subscribers during the quarter to raise its total broadband subscriber base to 16.5 million. Verizon ranked second, adding 16,000 net broadband subscribers in 1Q to bring its subscriber base up to 9.03 million. CenturyLink ranked third, adding a net 66,000, with its total subscriber base reaching 6.06 million.
Other highlights of LRG’s latest U.S. broadband market data include:
- AT&T and Verizon added 732,000 subscribers via U-verse and FiOS in 1Q 2014, while having a net loss of 638,000 DSL subscribers. U-verse and FiOS broadband subscribers now account for 49% of Telco broadband subscribers — compared to 40% a year ago
- The top cable broadband providers have a 59% share of the market versus Telcos, with about 15.1 million more subscribers than the top telephone companies — compared to 13.1 million more a year ago