Charter added 1.6M broadband users in 2016; cable operators now control 63% of market

wireless cable

Cable operators collectively added nearly 3.3 million high-speed internet (HSI) subscribers in 2016, taking another chunk of market share away from phone companies, which lost nearly 600,000 subscribers over the course of the year.

The calculations came today from Leichtman Research Group (LRG), which on Thursday also issued 2016 metrics for pay-TV customer performance.

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Charter Communications led all gainers, adding more than 1.6 million broadband users. Charter now controls 22.4 million HSI accounts, second only to Comcast, which added just under 1.4 million internet customers in 2016 and now has 24.7 million HSI subsribers. 

LRG’s tally accounted for the 14 biggest wireline broadband providers, controlling 95% of the market. 

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Cable companies hauled in 122% of broadband additions in 2016 compared to 106% in 2015 and 89% in 2014. Cable operators now control about 63% of the nearly 92.9 million U.S. broadband customers. 

While cable’s 3.3 million subscriber additions were roughly flat with 2015, telco’s wireline losses accelerated from around 185,000 in 2015.

The entire ISP sector slowed in the fourth quarter, adding only 735,000 users compared to 1.03 million in Q4 of 2015. 

Frontier Communications led all decliners, losing 243,000 HSI subs last year. 

LRG internet subscriber numbers
Image: LRG