Cable adds over 1M HSI subscribers in Q1, now controls 63% of the U.S. market

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Cable operators finished the first quarter controlling 63.2% of the U.S. wireline broadband market, up from 61.5% in the first quarter of 2016.

Spearheaded by the explosive growth of Comcast and Charter Communications, cable operators collectively added over 1.003 million high-speed internet (HSI) subscribers in the first quarter, further seizing market share from the telco sector, according to Leichtman Research Group.

Beset by Frontier Communications’ heavy Fios losses (107,000 users), the telco sector collectively lost 44,571 HSI customers in the first quarter. Cable operators finished the quarter controlling 63.2% of the U.S. wireline broadband market, up from 61.5% in the first quarter of 2016.

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Telco operators lost nearly 727,000 HSI customers in the 12-month period ending March 31, with subscribers fleeing DSL services. Cable operators have added over 3.11 million broadband users over that same period, attracting customers with DOCSIS 3.0- and 3.1-powered gigabit-speed services, in a growing number of cases. 

The U.S. broadband market expanded by 2.38 million users over the one-year period, according to Leichtman. 

Charter was the biggest gainer in the first quarter, adding 458,000 HSI customers, followed by Comcast (430,000). On the other side, Verizon follows Frontier with losses of 27,000 users. AT&T added 90,000 U-verse internet customers after losing 14,000 in the first quarter of 2016.

"With the addition of nearly one million subscribers in the quarter, the top cable and telco broadband providers in the U.S. cumulatively now account for over 93.9 million subscribers in the US," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. "In the first quarter of 2017, the number of broadband subscribers surpassed the number of pay-TV subscribers in the U.S.”