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Cable Operators Continued Explosive Broadband Growth in Q2, Now Control 70% of the U.S. Wireline HSI Market

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(Image credit: Carlos. E. Serrano/Getty Images)

The U.S. wireline broadband business has slowed from the explosive growth it experienced during the outset of the COVID-19 quarantine, but not by much. 

According to Q2 figures published by Leichtman Research Group (LRG), the top 16 wirelines broadband providers, accounting for 96% of the U.S. market, added 890,000 customers in the second quarter vs. 1.260 million in the second quarter of 2020, as citizens worldwide adjusted their home internet service to account for sheltering-in-place activities. 

But discounting that Q2 2020 anomaly, it was still the U.S. wireline broadband business' biggest growth quarter in a decade. 

(Image credit: Leichtman Research Group)

Cable operators continued their torrid growth pace, with top U.S. MSO Comcast adding 354,000 high-speed internet customers in Q2, while No. 2 cable company Charter Communications tacked on 400,000.

Overall, the nine biggest U.S. cable operators added 842,447 HSI customers in Q2 and are now within half a percentage point of controlling 70% of the U.S. wireline broadband market. 

Within LRG's figures for "wireline phone companies, it's unclear how much growth the nascent wireless home internet businesses currently being set up by wireless operators like Verizon and T-Mobile are providing.

Certainly, these newer 5G-fueled operations don't seem to be slowing the uptake of cable broadband at the moment. 

In terms of phone company wireline, AT&T (up 46,000 customers in Q2) and Verizon (up 70,000) continue to add fiber-to-the-home customers, but others including CenturyLink and Frontier remain in decline. Overall, the wireline phone provider segment added only 49,078 customers during the three-month period ending June 30. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.