Cable operators are heading into New Orleans for their annual trade show riding a wave of strong growth in telephony and broadband services, according to at least two research groups.
Cable operators added a collective 1.3 million telephone customers in the first quarter, slightly ahead of the 1.2 million the industry added in the fourth quarter, according to media analyst Cynthia Brumfield’s IP Democracy blog.
By the end of the first quarter, the top nine U.S. cable operators served a total of 14.5 million voice customers, up 57% year over year and representing about 13% of the homes available for service, according to IP Democracy.
Telephone companies also gained ground on cable for video service and currently serve about 5.7 million video customers, according to IP Democracy.
On the broadband front, cable operators added more high-speed Internet subscribers in the first quarter than their telco competitors for the first time since the third quarter of 2004, according to Leichtman Research Group.
According to Leichtman, the 19 largest cable and telephone service providers added more than 2.2 million broadband customers in the quarter and provide high-speed Internet service to more than 94% of all broadband subscribers, or about 64 million customers. Cable operators provided service to about 34.7 million of those customers, with telcos representing 29.5 million subscribers.
In the first quarter, cable companies added 1.2 million broadband subscribers, representing 54% of the net broadband additions in the quarter. Comcast led the way with 492,000 new subscribers followed by Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications with 304,000 and 120,000 new subscribers, respectively. For the telephone companies, AT&T added 491,000 new subscribers, Verizon 266,000 and Qwest picked up 90,000 subscribers.
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