Frontier’s heavy Q1 HSI losses mean more big broadband market share gains for cable

Cable operators collectively added nearly 3.3 million high-speed internet subscribers in 2016.

While the comprehensive research tallies aren’t yet in, cable will once again pick up significant gains in wireline broadband market share in the first quarter.

Comcast added 438,000 high-speed internet (HSI) users in the quarter, while Charter Communications picked up 428,000. This compared to only narrow gains for the major telco operators. 

RELATED: Frontier loses another 100K broadband subscribers in Q1, sets focus on retaining profitable customers


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On Wednesday, Frontier Communications reported that it lost 102,000 broadband customers as the company looked to scrub its ranks of low-profit subscribers leveraging promotions. The loss offset a modest gain by AT&T, which added only 115,000 after attribution of its DSL customer base was factored in. Verizon FiOS reported a thin gain of 35,000 customers in the first quarter. 

RELATED: Charter added 1.6M broadband users in 2016; cable operators now control 63% of market

Cable operators collectively added nearly 3.3 million high-speed internet (HSI) subscribers in 2016, taking another chunk of market share away from phone companies, which lost nearly 600,000 subscribers over the course of the year, according to Leichtman Research Group.

Charter Communications led all gainers, adding more than 1.6 million broadband users. Charter controlled 22.4 million HSI accounts at the end of 2016, second only to Comcast, which added just under 1.4 million internet customers in 2016 and had 24.7 million HSI subscribers at the end of the year. 

Cable companies hauled in 122% of broadband additions in 2016 compared to 106% in 2015 and 89% in 2014. Cable operators now control about 63% of the nearly 92.9 million U.S. broadband customers. 

While cable’s 3.3 million subscriber additions were roughly flat with 2015, telco’s wireline losses accelerated from around 185,000 in 2015.

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