March 4, 2021
With more consumers housebound due to the pandemic, subscriptions for high-speed Internet, or broadband, grew significantly, according to new data from Leichtman Research Group. The Durham, N.H.-based firm found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers in the U.S. — representing about 96% of the market — acquired more than 4.8 million net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2020, compared with a gain of about 2.55 million subs in 2019.
The following broadband providers now account for 105.8 million subs, with cable companies accounting for 72.8 million broadband subs, and telecoms having 33 million subs.
Overall, broadband additions in 2020 were 190% higher than in 2019, and more than in any year since 2008. Cable companies added about 4.82 million subs compared to 3.15 million adds in 2019, and the most in any year since 2006.
Charter’s 2.21 million broadband additions were more than any company had in a year since 2006. Telecoms added about 40,000 subs compared to a loss of about 590,000 subs in 2019. The industry had positive net annual broadband adds for the first time since 2014. At the end of 2020, cable had a 69% market share vs. 31% for telecoms.
“With the impact of the pandemic, there were more net broadband additions in 2020 than in any year since 2008,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “The top cable and telecom providers in the U.S. cumulatively added about 4.86 million subs in 2020, compared to about 5.1 million subs in 2018 and 2019 combined.”
|Broadband Providers||Subscribers at end of 4Q 2020||Net Adds in 2020|
|Comcast||30.6 million||1.97 million|
|Charter||28.9 million||2.21 million|
|Total Top Cable||72.8 million||4.82 million|
|Total Telecom||32.9 million||39,535|
|Total Broadband||105.8 million||4.85 million|