Comcast and Time Warner Cable led the growth in US broadband subscriptions during the third quarter, adding a combined 552,000 new subscribers. Overall, cable operators in the US added 804,000 subscribers. However, the total number of US broadband subscribers only increased by 679,000 due to losses in DSL and slower growth in fibre subscriptions at AT&T and Verizon. Over the past twelve months, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have accounted for 71 per cent of the 3 million new broadband subscribers.
A Strategy Analytics Service Provider Strategies (SPS) service report indicates that the top nineteen tracked operators in the US have seen strong growth in 2015, adding more than 2.1 million new subscribers through the third quarter. But, in the third quarter, AT&T and Verizon faced challenges as AT&T lost 106,000 subscribers and Verizon added only 2,000.
In another positive note for the service providers, broadband average revenue per user (ARPU) continues on an upward trajectory. In the third quarter results, Broadband ARPU was up between 2 per cent and 7 per cent across cable and telco providers. Operators are investing in capabilities to offer higher speed tiers, and customers are responding favourably.
“Cable operators continue to increase market share in US broadband,” said Jason Blackwell, Director of the Service Provider Strategies service (SPS) at Strategy Analytics. He added, “Over the past twelve months, Comcast has accounted for 42 per cent of new subscribers among the operators that we track. Fibre growth is still strong, but the telco operators haven’t been able to shake off the losses of DSL subscribers. In 2016, we expect to see a real battle in broadband, as cable operators begin to roll out DOCSIS 3.1 for even higher speed offers, placing additional pressure on telcos.”