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US Q3: 1.5m broadband subs added

November 23, 2020

Findings from the Leichtman Research Group (LRG) indicate that the largest cable and wireline phone providers in the US – representing about 96 per cent of the market – acquired about 1,530,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in Q3 2020, compared to a pro forma gain of about 615,000 subscribers in Q3 2019.

These top broadband providers now account for about 104.9 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 72 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having about 32.9 million subscribers.

Findings for the quarter include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in Q3 2020 were about 915,000 more than in Q3 2019
    • Broadband additions in Q3 2020 were the most in any quarter since 1Q 2009
  • The top cable companies added about 1,320,000 subscribers in Q3 2020 – compared to a net gain of about 830,000 subscribers in Q3 2019
    • Cable broadband had over one million net adds for the third consecutive quarter – the first time since Q3 2006-1Q 2007
    • Comcast’s 633,000 net adds in Q3 2020 were more than in any quarter in the past fifteen years
  • The top wireline phone companies added about 210,000 subscribers in Q3 2020 – compared to a net loss of about 220,000 subscribers in Q3 2019

“With the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in Q3 2020 than in any quarter in over eleven years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG.  “Over the past year, there were about 4,550,000 net broadband adds, compared to about 2,550,000 net broadband adds over the prior year. This marks the most broadband net adds in a year since Q3 2008-2Q 2009.”

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of Q3 2020 Net Adds in Q3 2020


Cable Companies
Comcast 30,062,000 633,000
Charter 28,633,000 537,000
Cox* 5,330,000 50,000
Altice** 4,363,500 26,000
Mediacom 1,425,000 29,000
Cable One** 865,000 27,000
WOW (WideOpenWest) 808,900 3,300
Atlantic Broadband 492,212 13,523


Total Top Cable 71,979,612 1,318,823


Wireline Phone Companies
AT&T 15,375,000 174,000
Verizon 7,069,000 110,000
CenturyLink/Lumen^ 4,563,000 (75,000)
Frontier 3,119,000 (23,000)
Windstream 1,102,300 12,900
Consolidated 792,211 1,008
TDS 487,700 8,200
Cincinnati Bell 434,500 2,500


Total Top Telco 32,942,711 210,608


Total Top Broadband 104,922,323 1,529,431

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

*    LRG estimate

**   Includes recent small acquisition

^    CenturyLink was renamed Lumen Technologies in Q3 2020

TDS includes 281,500 wireline broadband subscribers, and 206,200 cable broadband subscribers

Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households – about 6 per cent of the total are non-residential

Top cable and wireline phone 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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