Comcast Earnings Prove Broadband Growth Slowing

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As earnings season continues, it’s clear that some in the U.S. have had their fill of broadband. Within the past week AT&T and Verizon reported slowing broadband growth, and today Comcast saw its high-speed Internet access customers grow by 278,000 new subscribers, but added 18 percent fewer customers than it did during the second quarter of last year.

It appears that messing with P2P traffic, the likely enforcement order from the FCC and worries over tiered broadband have done little to dissuade people from moving to cable Internet, perhaps because it’s simply faster than DSL in most areas. During their second quarters, AT&T added only 46,000 DSL broadband subscribers and Verizon added 54,000.

We’ll know more when Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications report earnings next week, but as broadband growth slows, it’s time to tweak the service. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said on the conference call this morning that the company plans to upgrade its network in 20 percent of its market to DOCSIS 3.0 later this year (Comcast said this last year, too). AT&T is pushing U-verse and Verizon is relying on FiOS. Can the former Baby Bells can lay fiber fast enough to keep their customers for the long-term, or might they nickel and dime them with tiered service to goose revenue in the short term?

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shetaan819

Or could it be the fact that Comcast has a ridiculously bad pricing structure which has a package with a ‘land line’….now maybe if they bought Sprint, they could get somewhere…

DG Lewis

AT&T actually added 46,000 broadband subs (including DSL, U-verse, and resold WildBlue satellite internet), and Verizon added 54,000 broadband subs. Just looking at DSL, AT&T lost about 105k and Verizon 133k.

AT&T: added 170k U-verse subs. They had previously reported that about 90% of U-verse subs buy broadband (the remainder buy only video), so that’s 153k U-verse broadband adds. But total broadband was only up 46k, so DSL+WildBlue was down about 107k. WildBlue is in the noise, so there were about 105k DSL disconnects. (Some of which – probably about 85k, based on other published reports on how many U-verse customers upgraded from AT&T DSL – went to U-verse.)

Verizon actually says in their earnings release that they had a net decline of 133k DSL subs. On their earnings call, they said that about 1/4 migrated to FiOS, which is actually worse than AT&T, if AT&T’s previously-reported numbers still hold.

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