Although many pundits predicted a saturation point and slow down of the broadband market, actual broadband penetration is still growing at a healthy pace with no signs of slowing down. Indeed, cable operators’ biggest challenge is trying to increase their control of the market.
Although Charter is smaller than Comcast, Charter managed to grow faster than Comcast in Q3 by a margin of 58K subs (387,000 to 329,000). Add to that victory the strategic acquisition of Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable, Charter finds itself in 2017 to be the second largest broadband player in the game.
In contrast, five of the seven largest telcos saw a net decrease in broadband subscribers. While it is true they were primarily focused on upgrading their legacy DSL customers to fiber, the decrease hurt the companies where it hurts most; their balance sheets.
Still, the overall growth of the broadband market can’t be denied. The recent rollouts of gigabit services by CenturyLink, AT&T, and other leading telcos will likely continue deep into 2017.
The take-away? Today nearly 92.5 million American households are broadband enabled – representing 81% of all homes. This is rapid growth, considering just back in 2006 the number was 42%. At the current rate, more than 100 million homes in the US will have broadband service by the end of the decade.
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