The sharp pandemic-fueled growth in broadband customers appears to be ebbing, just a little, for the top U.S. cable operators.
The eight biggest MSOs collectively added nearly 937,000 broadband customers in the first quarter. It was the first time the U.S. cable industry didn’t reach the 1 million mark in high-speed internet customer growth since the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019, according to data compiled by Leichtman Research Group (LRG).
Comcast added 460,000 HSI customers in Q1, down 3.5% from the 477,000 it added in the first quarter of 2020. No. 2 operator Charter Communications saw a sharper decline in first quarter growth, decelerating by 39% to 355,000, LRG said.
Adding the top eight wireline phone companies to the mix, the top 16 U.S. broadband providers collectively added 1,020,907 users to their ranks, with both AT&T (51,000) and Verizon (64,000) growing in Q1. That's about 87% of the growth in Q1 of 2020 (1.17 million), LRG said.
“This marked the fourth time in the past five quarters that there were more than one million net broadband additions in the U.S.,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Over the past year, there were about 4,665,000 net broadband adds, compared to about 2,760,000 net broadband adds over the prior year.”
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