Thanks to Netflix (s NFLX), the demand for broadband connections for Time Warner Cable (s TWC) is on an upswing. During its most recent quarter (ended March 31, 2011), the company added about 189,000 broadband Internet customers — about 70 percent higher than some analyst estimates of around 111,000 for the quarter.
Time Warner Cable ended the quarter with just under 10 million high-speed internet subscribers, roughly 36.5 percent of the total homes passed. That is a 5.1 percent boost in year-over-year high-speed subscriber base. Of the total additions, the company said that it was seeing significant demand for its higher speed tiers — it added 136,000 Turbo and 9,000 Wideband or DOCSIS 3.0 customers. (The Wideband service is available only in handful of TWC regions.)
Our Wideband net adds, while still a small portion of the total were nearly double our Q4 net adds, largely driven by our new Signature Home offering, which includes Wideband in many markets. Close to 16 percent of our residential HSD sub base now take Turbo or Wideband. Commercial HSD net adds accelerated for the second consecutive quarter to 12,000. (Q1 2011 quarterly call transcript via Seeking Alpha.)
Time Warner cable also added 84,000 new digital phone subscribers and now has 4.6 million total voice subscribers — roughly 17 percent of total US homes that are wired to get phone service.
Thanks to the big boost during the first quarter of this year, analysts believe that Time Warner Cable is going to have a substantially better year when it comes to high-speed Internet subscriptions. Stifel Nicolas analyst Christopher King raised his estimates from 415,000 to 490,000 new high-speed internet customers.
The demand for higher speeds is a direct consequence of growing number of must-have applications such as Netflix (s nflx) and Facebook. In addition, many of us are using in-home wireless networks to access data via mobile phones and tablets. This is a trend that is likely to continue for sometime.