Broadband Providers Add 1.5M Subs In Q3, Most In 11 Years

Pandemic-driven streaming helped drive a net gain of about 1.53 million broadband internet subscribers for 16 cable and wireline phone providers representing 96% of the U.S. market in this year’s third quarter — the largest quarterly gain since Q1 2009, according to Leichtman Research Group.

The total Q3 2020 adds exceeded the 615,000 gained in 2019’s third quarter by 915,000.

Over the past 12 months, the companies have added a combined 4.55 million broadband subscribers, compared to 2.55 million added in the prior comparable 12-month period. This marked the most net broadband adds in 12 months since the period between Q3 2008 and Q2 2009. 

This year’s Q3 gains bring the 16 companies’ combined broadband subscribers to 104.9 million, including 72 million at the eight leading cable providers and 32.9 million at the eight leading telcos.   

Comcast Logs Biggest Gain In 15 Years

The cable providers added about 1.3 million combined net broadband subscribers, compared to 830,000 in Q3 2019.

This was their third consecutive quarter of adding more than 1 million. The last time that happened was during the Q3 2006 through Q1 2007 quarters. 

All of the cable companies saw broadband gains in Q3 2020. 

Comcast’s 633,000 net adds were the company’s largest in 15 years, bringing its total broadband subscribers to nearly 30.1 million. 

Charter gained 537,000, for a total of 28.63 million. 

Cox added an estimated 50,000, and Mediacom, Cable One and Altice gained about 29,000, 27,000 and 26,000.

Telcos: AT&T Adds 174K 

The top wireline phone companies added about 210,000 broadband subscribers in Q3 2020, compared to a net loss of about 220,000 subscribers in 3Q 2019. 

AT&T added 174,000, for a total of 15.38 million. 

Verizon is No. 2, adding 110,000 for 7.1 million total. 

However, two wireline companies lost broadband subscribers in the period.

CenturyLink/Lumen lost 75,000, and Frontier lost 23,000, bringing their respective broadband totals down to 4.56 million and 3.12 million, respectively.

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