broadband subscriber report graph

The nation’s largest cable and wireline carriers all saw big subscriber gains in the third quarter, according to a new broadband subscriber report from the Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG).

In the third quarter, carriers representing a vast majority (96%) of the market gained more than 1.5 million net subscribers – including consumer and commercial subscribers — more than double the number of subscribers (615,000) in the same period a year ago.

Broadband surged during the period as a large number of consumers continued to add broadband for remote work and learning as well as for entertainment.

According to the report, top cable companies added about 1.3 million subscribers during the quarter, well ahead of the 830,000 subscribers added in the same period a year ago.

The top broadband providers now have just under 105 million subscribers. Cable companies dominate with about 72 million of those subscribers.

Other findings from the broadband subscriber report:

  • Cable broadband added more than 1 million subscribers, the first time that has happened since the first quarter of 2007.
  • There were 915,000 more broadband additions during the quarter compared to the year-ago period.

“With the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in 3Q 2020 than in any quarter in over eleven years,” said Bruce Leichtman, the research firm’s president and principal analyst, in a prepared statement. “Over the past year, there were about 4.5 million net broadband adds, compared to about 2.5 million net broadband adds over the prior year. This marks the most broadband net adds in a year since the third quarter of 2008 and 2009.

Among the largest providers with outstanding subscriber gains during the quarter were Comcast, which posted its best quarter ever, and Verizon which saw Fios subscribers quadruple, as Telecompetitor reported.

Subscribership isn’t the only broadband metric showing gains. OpenVault found a surge in bandwidth demand, as the number of data “power users,” subscribers who consume more than 1 TB, doubled in the past year, as Telecompetitor reported.

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