Cable continues to crush telcos when it comes to stealing broadband customers, according to new data out today from the Leichtman Research Group. The analyst firm noted that during the first quarter of the year cable and telcos representing 93 percent of the U.S. market added 1.3 million new subscribers, bringing their total nearly 80 million subscriptions. A year ago the top providers had 76.6 million subscribers.
As has been the case since 2006, cable companies have the most subscribers, with 45.3 million broadband subs now, while the top telcos have 34.6 million subscribers. This dynamic isn’t likely to shift anytime soon given the improvements that cable providers have made in terms of delivering faster speeds to customers as they upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0 networks. Meanwhile, telcos are stuck offering DSL or fiber-to-the-node products that top out at speeds that are far below cable’s. The primary exception to this is Verizon’s FiOS fiber-to-the-home product — on Wednesday Verizon said it would offer a 300 Mbps tier.
The top cable companies added about 980,000 subscribers, representing 75 percent of the net broadband additions for the quarter, versus roughly 320,000 from the top telephone companies. Top broadband provider Comcast added 439,000 broadband subscribers in the first quarter of this year – the most in any three-month period since the first quarter in 2008 and more than all of the telcos combined.