Comcast, Charter add 81K new business customers in Q2, ramp Ethernet reach

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Comcast reported that its Business Services unit saw second-quarter revenues rise 12.6% to $1.5 billion, due to customer growth.

Comcast and Charter, two of the largest cable operators, continue to make progress in the business services segment, reporting the addition of a total of 81,000 new business customers in the second quarter.

As the nation’s largest cable operator, Comcast reported that its Business Services unit saw second-quarter revenues rise 12.6% to $1.5 billion, due to customer growth. Specifically, Comcast added 37,000 business customer relationships in the quarter.

RELATED: Comcast, Charter, and Altice’s aggressive builds, acquisitions advance cable’s Ethernet status, says VSG

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Michael Cavanaugh, CFO of Comcast, told investors during the earnings call that the cable MSO is also seeing uptick in Ethernet and cloud-based voice services.

“We increased revenue for business customer relationships by 4%, which reflects good momentum in our Ethernet and advanced voice services,” Cavanaugh said during the earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

Overall, Comcast’s Cable Communications revenues rose 5.5% to $13.1 billion, driven by growth in residential high-speed Internet and Video as well as Business Services. Charter also reported business services growth during the quarter as more customers turned to the MSO for services.

During the second quarter, Charter reported that small to medium business (SMB) customer relationships grew by 44,000, down slightly year over year from the 47,000 it added during the second quarter of 2016.

Charter’s total commercial second-quarter revenue was $1.47 billion due to gains in the SMB and enterprise segments.

SMB revenues were $924 million, while enterprise revenues were $548 million, up year over year from $843 million and $501 million, respectively.

Charter’s SMB primary service units (PSUs) rose by 88,000, compared to 82,000 during the second quarter of 2016. As of June 30, 2017, Charter had 1.5 million SMB customer relationships and 2.6 million SMB PSUs.

Ethernet continues to be a factor for Charter and Comcast. According to the cable industry, it’s the fastest growing provider segment of the Ethernet market. Charter’s Spectrum Enterprise, Comcast, Cox, and Altice USA have gained a position on the 2016 U.S. Cable MSO Ethernet Leaderboard, according to Vertical Systems Group’s latest research.

The cable MSO completed the rollout of its Spectrum business pricing for the SMB and enterprise segments with an eye toward driving higher customer growth and market share gains.

“We're now offering simple, straightforward, fully featured and attractively priced SMB products in a consistent uniform approach nationwide, and our SMB strategy is intended to drive customer and market share growth,” said Thomas Rutledge, CEO and chairman of Charter, during the earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “The growth opportunity in front of us is very large in both SMB and enterprise where we still have a low market share.”

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