Wireline broadband growth eases as residential connections approach 99 million homes—report

The cable industry led the way for second quarter residential broadband subscriber additions, according to Kagan. (Pixabay)

With 5G still in its infancy stage, wireline broadband service providers added 339,000 new subscribers in the second quarter, but that growth slowed a bit, according to a report.

According to research group Kagan, four out of five homes in the U.S. now subscribe to a wireline connection from cable or telecom service providers. Cable led the way for residential broadband adds in the second quarter, but its growth rate shrank on a sequential and annual basis.

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Paced by Comcast and Charter, which gained 209,000 and 221,000 broadband subscribers, respectively, in the second quarter, the cable industry added close to half a million new residential broadband customers compared to a net loss of 155,000 customers by the telcos. AT&T lost 34,000 residential broadband subscribers in the second quarter while Verizon added 28,000 subscribers.

"We estimate wireline broadband penetration increased slightly to 78.5% of occupied households," said Ian Olgeirson, research director at Kagan in a statement. "Cable's residential gains did not match the levels from the previous or year-ago quarters, but net adds in the trailing 12 months are still higher at 2.8 million when compared to the same period in 2018.

"Telco broadband slumped in the second quarter, returning to a pattern of six-figure losses after holding steady in the first quarter. Growth in telco fiber-to-the-home connections was not sufficient to overcome losses to legacy copper and fiber-to-the-node DSL connections."