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Comcast and Other Cable Operators Control 67% of U.S. Broadband Market

The top U.S. cable operators added more than 3.1 million broadband subscribers in 2019 and now control 67% of the U.S. ISP market, according to Leichtman Research Group.

Led by Comcast and Charter Communications, which both added just over 1.4 million high-speed internet users last year, cable operators haven’t controlled this much of the market since the business of internet service provision by telecommunications companies was a new thing, all the way back in the third quarter of 2001. Comcast had its best broadband growth numbers since 2007.

“The top broadband providers added 28.4 million net broadband subscribers over the past decade, with cable companies accounting for 97% of the net broadband additions in the 2010s,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, in a statement.

That was, of course, just before DSL took hold. The leading U.S. telco’s that foisted that technology lost another 619,605 HSI customers in 2019, LRG said, led by AT&T’s shedding of 312,000 wireline internet customers. Never before has the U.S. telco sector lost so many wireline internet subscribers.

Overall, the top U.S. broadband providers representing about 96% of the wireline internet market acquired about 2.5 million net additional broadband internet subscribers in 2019, compared to a pro forma gain of about 2.5 million users in 2018.

The total U.S. wireline internet market now stands at just over 101.2 million subscribers.