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Research: US adds 1.16m broadband subs in Q1

May 14, 2020

Findings from research and analysis firm Leichtman Research Group (LRG) indicate that the largest cable and telephone providers in the US – representing about 96 per cent of the market – acquired about 1,165,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in Q1 2020, compared to a pro forma gain of about 955,000 subscribers in Q1 2019.

These top broadband providers now account for about 102.4 million subscribers, with top cable companies having 69.2 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having 33.2 million subscribers.

Findings for the quarter include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in Q1 2020 were 122 per cent of those in Q1 2019
    • Broadband additions overall were the most in any quarter since Q1 2015
  • The top cable companies added about 1,230,000 subscribers in Q1 2020 – 132 per cent of the net adds for the top cable companies in Q1 2019
    • Cable broadband net additions were the most in any quarter since Q1 2007
  • The top wireline phone companies had a net loss of about 65,000 subscribers in Q1 2020 – compared to a net gain of about 20,000 subscribers in Q1 2019
  • Over the past year, there were about 2,750,000 net broadband adds – compared to about 2,635,000 net broadband adds over the prior year

“With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in Q1 2020 than in any quarter in five years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Top cable companies performed particularly well, having the most net additions for cable broadband services in any quarter in thirteen years.”

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of Q1 2020 Net Adds in Q1 2020


Cable Companies
Comcast 29,106,000 477,000
Charter* 27,246,000 582,000
Cox** 5,230,000 60,000
Altice 4,237,400 50,100
Mediacom 1,349,000 21,000
WOW (WideOpenWest) 797,600 16,100
Cable One 793,000 20,000
Atlantic Broadband 457,233 5,770


Total Top Cable 69,216,233 1,231,970


Wireline Phone Companies
AT&T 15,315,000 (74,000)
Verizon 6,982,000 26,000
CenturyLink 4,667,000 (11,000)
Frontier 3,480,000 (33,000)
Windstream 1,067,300 18,000
Consolidated 786,125 1,960
TDS^ 460,000 4,800
Cincinnati Bell 427,500 1,800


Total Top Telco 33,184,925 (65,440)


Total Top Broadband 102,401,158 1,166,530

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

*  Charter’s Q1 2020 results include about 120,000 net adds with 60-day free service related to the impact of COVID-19

**  LRG estimate

^  TDS includes 263,200 wireline broadband subscribers, and 196,800 cable broadband subscribers

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


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