Broadband adoption continues to increase, with the biggest Internet service providers in the U.S., estimated to have attracted a net of 1.1 million additional subscribers in the first quarter of 2013.
The numbers are consistent with recent trends, in which the number of broadband subscribers continues to grow even as the number of basic video subscriber additions has been tailing off. The most recent quarter’s results indicate total video subscribership may actually be shrinking.
The seventeen largest ISPs, a mix of 17 cable and phone companies representing about 93 percent of the market, now account for over 82.4 million subscribers, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).
MSOs have over 47.5 million broadband subscribers, and the telephone companies have nearly 34.9 million Internet customers.
Also consistent with recent trends, the broadband adoption rate is slowing. Overall, broadband additions in the first quarter of 2013 amounted to 86 percent of those in the similar quarter of 2012. Cable had 82 percent as many additions as a year ago, and telcos 99 percent as many additions as a year ago, according to LRG’s calculations.
That said, MSOs continue to grab a greater share of the additions than their telco rivals. Together, cable companies added about 800,000 subscribers, representing 72 percent of the net broadband additions for the quarter versus the top telephone companies.
AT&T and Verizon added 919,000 fiber subscribers (U-verse and FiOS) in 1Q 2013, while having a net loss of 696,000 DSL subscribers. U-verse and FiOS now account for 40 percent of the top telephone companies’ broadband subscribers, compared to 32 percent a year ago, LRG said.
“The first quarter of the year has proven to be the best quarter for net broadband adds in each of the past seven years, and from 2010-2012 net adds in the first quarter were greater than in the second and third quarters combined,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “2013 began with another strong first quarter. Net broadband additions in 1Q 2013 were about 500,000 more than in 4Q 2012.”
Subscribers at end of 1Q 2013
Net Adds in 1Q 2013
Other major private cable companies**
Total Top Cable
Total Top Telephone Companies
Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* LRG estimate
** Includes LRG estimates for Bright House Networks and RCN
^ Frontier and FairPoint revised totals from previous quarters
^^ LRG estimate, does not include wireless subscribers
Company subscriber counts may not represent solely residential households
Totals reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions
Top cable and telephone companies represent approximately 93% of all subscribers