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US: 2.5m 2019 broadband additions

March 10, 2020

Findings from analyst firm Leichtman Research Group indicate that the largest cable and telephone providers in the US – representing about 96 per cent of the market – acquired about 2.5 million net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2019, compared to a pro forma gain of about 2.5 million subscribers in 2018.

These top broadband providers now account for about 101.2 million subscribers, with top cable companies having 68 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having 33.2 million subscribers.

Key findings include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 2019 were about 100 per cent of those in 2018
  • The top cable companies added about 3,145,000 subscribers in 2019 – compared to about 2,925,000 net adds in 2018
    • Comcast had more net adds in 2019 than in any year since 2007
  • The top wireline phone companies lost about 620,000 subscribers in 2019 – compared to a net loss of about 410,000 subscribers in 2018
    • Telcos had more net losses in 2019 than in any prior year
  • At the end of 2019, cable had a 67 per cent market share vs. 33 per cent for Telcos
    • Cable’s broadband market share is at the highest level since 3Q 2001

“The top cable and Telco broadband providers in the US cumulatively added 2.5 million subscribers in 2019, and now account for 101.2 million subscribers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.  “The top broadband providers added 28.4 million net broadband subscribers over the past decade, with cable companies accounting for 97 per cent of the net broadband additions in the 2010s.”

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of 4Q 2019 Net Adds in 2019


Cable Companies
Comcast 28,629,000 1,407,000
Charter 26,664,000 1,405,000
Cox* 5,170,000 110,000
Altice 4,187,300 71,900
Mediacom 1,328,000 64,000
WOW (WideOpenWest) 781,500 21,900
Cable One** 773,000 39,000
Atlantic Broadband 451,463 25,857


Total Top Cable 67,984,263 3,144,657


Phone Companies
AT&T 15,389,000 (312,000)
Verizon 6,956,000 (5,000)
CenturyLink 4,678,000 (134,000)
Frontier^ 3,500,000 (235,000)
Windstream 1,049,300 28,300
Consolidated 784,165 5,195
TDS^^ 455,200 31,800
Cincinnati Bell 426,700 1,100


Total Top Telco 33,238,365 (619,605)


Total Top Broadband 101,222,628 2,525,052

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

*     LRG estimate

**   Cable One total includes the acquisition of Fidelity Communications, and an LRG estimate of pro forma results

^    Frontier total for 4Q 2019 is an LRG estimate due to later year-end reporting

^^  TDS includes a small acquisition in 4Q 2019 (annual results are not pro forma adjusted)

Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households

Top cable and telephone companies represent approximately 96 per cent of all subscribers 

Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, reporting adjustments, and the addition of new providers to the list – therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases will not produce accurate findings


Categories: Articles, Broadband, ISP, Markets, Research, Telco