Déjà vu: Cablecos Eat Telcos Lunch in Q3 Broadband Market

Cablecos now have a 62.5% market share and telcos are down to 37.5%. Image: Jeff Fusco/AP Images for Comcast
By Charles Hall

This is where we came in 19 years ago. Since September 1997 we have been warning telcos about losing the battle for broadband market share. That’s when we first reported on the cablecos’ DOCSIS broadband technology – warning that telcos would have to build all-fiber networks to keep up with DOCSIS’ speeds. Only Verizon did and almost all the others are losing market share as we predicted.

The Q3 2016 US broadband numbers from Leichtman Research Group (LRG) show:

  • In the first three quarters of 2016, cablecos added about 2,440,000 broadband subscribers. Telcos lost about 475,000 subscribers.
  • Net broadband additions in 3Q 2016 were 99% of those in 3Q 2015.
  • The top cablecos added about 775,000 subscribers in 3Q 2016, 99% of what they added a year ago in Q3 2015.
  • The top telcos lost about 150,000 broadband subscribers in 3Q 2016, about the same as the 145,000 they lost in Q3 2015.
  • Telcos have had net broadband losses in five of the past six quarters.

LRG said the fourteen largest US cablecos and telcos – representing about 95% of the market – added a net of 625,000 net additional broadband subscribers and now account for 92.5 million subscribers. The kicker is that cablecos have 57.8 million broadband subscribers and telcos are down to 34.7 million subscribers. Cablecos have a 62.5% market share and telcos are down to 37.5%

The situation could not be more dire for telcos in the lucrative broadband market. Cablecos are eating their lunch…

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