The demand for broadband skidded sharply during the fourth quarter of 2008. We went through the latest quarterly financials of all the major broadband service providers and collated the net new subscriber additions –- and so far, things aren’t looking good. Of the 12 majors, five companies, including Cablevision, aren’t due to report their quarterly results until later this month or early March.
Nevertheless, the sharp decline in net new additions is pretty clear (see the chart below). The downturn has been particularly hard on cable companies, especially Time Warner Cable, which saw a 44 percent decline in new additions.
Verizon has posted the best performance so far, while AT&T is seeing some benefit from the rollout of its Internet TV service, U-verse, which commands higher bandwidth. AT&T lost about 1,600 DSL subscribers in the most recent 3-month period.
Qwest, Embarq and Windstream all saw declines in their subscriber additions – mostly because they cover territories where the housing downturn has taken its toll. Now even if the remaining companies report the same number of new subscriber additions for the fourth quarter of 2008, the overall broadband additions for the last three months of 2008 will still be down sharply.
Source: Company Filings