Shentel cable segment loses video customers, gains RGUs in first quarter

Mid-Atlantic telecom service provider Shenandoah Telecommunications (Shentel) lost 1,864 video customers year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014 and 44 between end of fourth quarter 2013 and the end of the first quarter 2014, but still reported an overall gain in revenue generating units (RGUs) when it announced first quarter earnings.

Shentel, in an earnings release, said it gained 1,676 cable segment customer relationships year-over-year. It added 241 customers between Q4 2013 and Q1 2014. Non-video customers were up from 16,220 to 19,517 year-over-year, while video customers fell from 53,017 to 51,153. Revenue generating units (RGUs) were up 6.1 percent over the prior year and now total 116,592, the company reported.

Service revenue in the segment increased by $1.3 million to $17.42 million.

"The improvement in the cable segment this quarter demonstrates the strength of our newly upgraded network and the effectiveness of our marketing strategies to increase awareness of our improved service offerings," President-CEO Christopher French said in the release. "Cable remains an important part of our long-term growth strategy as customer demand for high-speed broadband services and premium digital TV packages continues to increase."

Shentel said its video penetration dropped from 32.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 30.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014. But digital video penetration climbed from 39.6 percent to 57.5 percent and high-speed Internet penetration climbed from 25.8 percent to 28.5 percent year-over-year. Shentel said it now has 48,068 high-speed Internet customers (12,714 of whom are DSL) compared to 42,435 in the year-ago period--12,709 of whom were DSL.

The carrier also continues to install fiber, adding 962 total fiber miles and 26 fiber route miles. Total fiber miles are measured by taking the number of fiber strands in a cable and multiplying that number by the route distance, the carrier explained.

For more:
- Shentel has this press release

Related articles:
Shentel's Q4 2013 wireline fiber sales rise to $21.8M
Shentel's wireline revenue remains flat at $3.3M, but fiber leasing grows 13 percent
Sprint affiliate Shentel reorganizes, Pirtle to oversee wireless division