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U.S. Broadband Growth Slowing – 2.1 Million New Connections in 2017 (2.7 Million in 2016)

Phillip Dampier March 13, 2018 Consumer News No Comments

Broadband growth is slowing in the United States as internet service providers have an increasingly hard time finding new subscribers who do not already have internet service in their homes and businesses.

In 2017, telecom companies attracted 2.1 million new customers, in contrast to 2.7 million in 2016.

Leichtman Research Group reports that among 14 ISPs which control 95% of the U.S. market, cable companies are about the only ones still growing, mostly at the expense of their phone company competitors. Cable companies now provide access for 61.2 million customers, representing almost two-thirds of the market. Phone companies continue to lose market share but still have 33.9 million internet customers.

Some statistics:

Cable Companies

  • Charter Communications was the marketplace leader in broadband net additions, picking up 1.3 million new internet access customers in 2017. Spectrum is the second largest broadband provider in the country, with 23.9 million customers.
  • Comcast retained its position as the country’s largest provider, picking up an additional 1.2 million internet access customers in 2017. It now serves 25.9 million broadband customers.
  • Altice, which operates as Cablevision/Optimum and Suddenlink, saw particularly weak growth in 2017, adding only 83,700 customers.
  • Mediacom added 47,000 new internet customers to its roster of 1.2 million current customers and WOW picked up 11,100 new broadband subscribers last year.

Phone Companies

  • Only AT&T added net new customers in 2017, picking up 114,000 new subscribers to add to its 15,719,000 current internet customers.
  • Verizon lost 79,000 customers and is down to just short of seven million subscribers.
  • CenturyLink lost 283,000 customers and is now down to 5,662,000 customers.
  • Frontier dropped 333,000 customers from its roster of 3.9 million current internet customers.
  • Windstream ended 2017 with 44,500 fewer internet customers, retaining just over one million subscribers.






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Recent Comments:

  • Dylan: Look at their prices. Absolutely ludicrous compared to many companies, especially Charter Spectrum. I pay $60 a month for 100/10 with unlimited data. ...
  • Paul Houle: For a long time communities have been frustrated in that they don't have any power to negotiate with cable companies. This town refused to enter into...
  • Ian S Littman: To be fair, you aren't wrong. Spectrum likely knows it won't have any competition for years in Lamar, so they'll quickly get take rates of >70% (re...
  • Ian S Littman: Are you in an area that can even get Spectrum service? Because in areas where they actually have to compete, they're actually pretty decent now. Yes,...
  • Ian S Littman: A more odd entry in that list is Chattanooga. The entire area has FTTH via EPB. Yet apparently folks can't swing the $57/mo starting price for 100 Mbp...
  • Ian S Littman: The issue here is that the NY PSC's threats have no teeth because, well, who will take over the cable systems if Spectrum is forced to sell? Either Al...
  • Bill Callahan: Phil, National Digital Inclusion Alliance just published interactive Census tract maps for the entire US based on the same ACS data. Two datapoints a...
  • Carl Moore: The idiots that run the cable companies must be also using drugs...a lot of people are cutting their cable services because of the higher rate and inc...
  • EJ: This will require a New Deal approach. Municipals need the ability to either be granted money or loaned money for broadband expansion. Until this is d...
  • Bob: I also got $1 increase for my 100/10 internet from Spectrum. A rep said it's for the speed increase that's coming in 2019. I complained that I was pro...
  • EJ: It makes sense to focus on wireless considering the government contract they have. The strange thing is they referenced fixed wireless in this article...
  • nick: Interesting how they conveniently leave out (Spectrum TV Choice) streaming service which is also $30/mo ($25/mo for the first 2 years)....

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