Cable operators added 775,000 broadband subs in Q3, Leichtman says

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Cable companies continue to take market share away from telco operators in the area of fixed U.S. broadband service.

Cable companies continued to take market share away from telco operators in the area of fixed U.S. broadband service, adding 774,956 customers in the third quarter while the telco sector lost 149,593, according to Leichtman Research

Charter Communications and Comcast continued to lead growth for MSOs, adding 387,000 and 329,000 broadband subscribers, respectively, during the period, according to Leichtman’s tally. Altice USA (up 17,000), Mediacom (17,000), WOW (2,700) and Cable One (2,256) were in positive territory, as well. The research company said Cox Communications and other privately held cable operators added 20,000 broadband users. 

The count covered the 14 largest cable and telco fixed broadband suppliers in the U.S., covering 95 percent of the market.

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Among telcos, Frontier Communications experienced the biggest customer losses (99,000) as it continued to struggle with technical issues related to the transition of acquired Verizon FiOS assets. 

CenturyLink (lost 40,000 fixed broadband users) and AT&T (down 23,000) also experienced significant declines. 

Cable’s continued gains bring its total U.S. penetration to 57,788,973 versus 34,682,347 for telcos. 

"While major providers now account for nearly 92.5 million broadband subscribers in the U.S., the broadband market continues to expand with top cable providers driving the growth," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, in a statement. "Over the past year, cable companies added more than 3.5 million broadband subscribers, accounting for 118 percent of the 2.995 million net broadband additions."