Top U.S. ISPs Add 190K Broadband Subs in Q2

Cable operators tack on 550,000 subs as top telcos shed 360,000
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Cable operators continued to pile on broadband subs while telcos continued to lose them in the second quarter of 2016.

The top 14 cable operators and telcos, representing 95% of the market, combined to add 190,000 net high-speed Internet subs in Q2 2016, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

LRG noted that the additions marked the lowest in the category in any quarter in the past fifteen years, when LRG began tracking the industry.

However, the top cable operators added about 550,000 broadband subs in Q2, which were the most in any second quarter since 2008.

The top telcos, meanwhile, lost 360,000 broadband subs in the period, widened from a loss of about 150,000 subs in the year-ago quarter.

LRG said the nation’s largest telcos have posted net broadband losses in four of the past five quarters.

Looking bigger picture, there were about 3.02 million total net broadband adds in the past year, versus 2.97 million over the prior year.

At the end of Q2, the top MSOs and telcos tracked by LRG had 91.9 million subs (57 million among MSOs and 34.9 million via the telcos).

Among the largest MSOs, Comcast added 220,000 broadband subs in Q2, extending its total to 23.98 million, while Charter Communications, aided by its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, added 277,000 subs, giving it a total of 21.81 million.

On the telco side, DSL losses continued to shrink the base. AT&T shed 123,000 high-speed Internet subs in Q2, for a total of 15.64 million, while Verizon lost 83,000, for a total of 7.01 million, per LRG.  Cincinnati Bell was a bright spot in the group, having added 4,300 subs, expanding its total to 296,700.

“While Telcos lost more broadband subscribers in 2Q 2016 than in any previous quarter, cable companies added over 550,000 subscribers in the traditionally weak second quarter,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said in a statement. “Over the past year, cable companies have added about 3.5 million broadband subscribers, while Telcos have had net losses of about 500,000 broadband subscribers.”