U.S. Broadband Subscriber Growth Slows in Q1

The rate of U.S. broadband subscriber growth continued to slow in Q1 2018, according to a new analysis from Leichtman Research Group.

The nation’s top cable operators and telcos, representing about 95% of the market, added roughly 800,000 net broadband subs in the period, down from 965,000 net adds in the year-ago quarter, LRG said.

Cable continued to dominate, as the top MSOs added 845,000 subscribers, or 84% of the net adds they acquired in Q1 2017.

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By comparison, the top telcos, driven by the ongoing decline of DSL, shed 45,000 subs in Q1 2018, similar to the net losses a year earlier. LRG noted that the telcos have combined net broadband losses in each of the past eight quarters.

Service providers tied to LRG’s analysis ended Q1 with 96.5 million subs, with cable MSOs having 62.2 million of the total, good for a 64% share, compared to 34.3 million among the nation’s largest telcos, LRG said.

The drop in net adds in Q1 is another indicator that the U.S. market for consumer broadband is becoming increasingly saturated.

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“Over the past year, there were about 1,950,000 net broadband adds, compared to about 2,550,000 net adds over the prior year,” LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman, said in a statement.