Led by Comcast and Charter, the cable industry increased its dominance of U.S. home internet in 2019, finishing the year with a 67 percent market share, reported Ars Technica. According to the Leichtman Research Group’s latest broadband-market review, the top eight cable companies combined to add 3.14 million broadband subscribers in 2019, reaching a total of 67.98 million.
Comcast added 1.41 million subscribers, reaching 28.63 subscribers total, while Charter added the same number to reach 26.66 million subscribers. Cox, the third-biggest cable company in the Leichtman review, added 110,000 subscribers to hit 5.17 million.
However, the top four telcos featured in the report — AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, and Frontier — all lost broadband subscribers. AT&T went down by 312,000 subscribers, dropping to 15.39 million, while Verizon saw a decline of just 5,000 subscribers in 2019, remaining steady at 6.96 million, and CenturyLink declined by 134,000 to equal 4.68 million subscribers. Frontier’s subscribers dropped by 235,000 to 3.5 million overall, and the company is expected to file for bankruptcy this month.
According to Ars Technica, the telecoms industry could overtake cable if they deployed more fiber-to-the-home. Currently, many customers in a cable territory generally have access to high-speed broadband, but often pay high prices because there’s so little competition. For example, according to an analysis by the FCC in 2018, Comcast was the only choice for 30 million Americans for broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps up.