Metric: Cable tops telco in Q1 broadband battle

Cable operators added more new broadband subscribers than telcos for the first time since the third quarter of 2004, reports the Leichtman Research Group in a new study of 19 cable and telephone companies. The group represents about 94 percent of the U.S. market, some 64.1 million subscribers, 34.7 million of whom used cable providers compared to 29.5 million with telco service.

In short:

  • The quarter saw 2.2 million net additional high-speed Internet subscribers
  • The top cable companies added 1.2 million subscribers, or 54 percent of the net broadband additions
  • Broadband additions fell in Q1 to 75 percent a year ago. Cable gained only 84 percent, telcos 67 percent
  • The top cable broadband providers now have a 54 percent share of the overall market, a 5.2 million subscriber advantage over the telephone companies

"The first quarter of 2008 marked this first time in three and a half years that cable companies added more broadband subscribers than telephone companies," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. "With telephone companies generally curtailing prior aggressive price-based offers to woo subscribers, the Telcos added about two-thirds as many broadband subscribers as a year ago."

For more:
- see LRG's report