Leichtman: Nearly 90% of U.S. Homes Have Internet Service

New data from Leichtman Research finds that 87% of U.S. homes now have internet service, compared with 83% in 2016 and 69% in 2006. High-speed broadband accounts for 98% of households with an internet service at home, up from 81% in 2016 and 42% in 2006.

Overall, 60% of broadband subscribers say they are very satisfied with their ISP, while 7% are not satisfied (rated 1-3). Similarly, 68% of broadband subs agree say their ISP meets the needs of their household, while 4% disagree.

The findings are based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. households from a new LRG study, Broadband Internet in the U.S. 2021.  This is LRG’s 19th annual study on this topic.

Other related findings include that 63% of broadband subs rate the speed of their internet connection 8-10 (with 10 being excellent), while 7% rate it 1-3 (with 1 being poor). About 45% of broadband subs do not know the download speed of their service, compared with 59% in 2016.

More than 69% of survey respondents reporting internet speeds of 100+ Mbps are very satisfied with their service, compared with 53% with speeds <50 Mbps, and 58% that don’t know their speed.

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About 60% of adults with an ISP at home watch video online daily — compared with 50% in 2019, 41% in 2016 and 5% in 2006. Another 87% of households use at least one laptop or desktop computer — 95% of this group get an ISP at home. Separately, 68% of those who do not use a laptop or desktop computer are not online at home — accounting for 67% of all that do not have an ISP at home.

“The percentage of households getting an internet service at home is now higher than in any previous year,” Bruce Leichtman, principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said in a statement. “Broadband subscribers generally remain satisfied with their service, with 60% reporting that they are very satisfied, compared to 57% in 2016.”

Comcast Cable Lost 344,000 Video Subs in 2018

Comcast Cable Jan. 23 disclosed it lost 344,000 pay-TV subscribers in 2018, which was nearly 85% more than the 186,000 subs lost in 2017.

In the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31), Comcast lost 19,000 video subs compared to 38,000 subs in the previous-year period.

The losses underscore ongoing secular changes in the industry as consumers opt for alternative home entertainment distribution channels, including over-the-top video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, and online TV platforms such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now.

Indeed, Xfinity X1, Comcast’s Web-based set-to platform, has added direct access to Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube to keep pay-TV subs.

The subscriber losses also impacted sales of digital movies and TV shows. Video revenue decreased 1.8% to $22.4 billion from $22.8 billion, primarily reflecting a decrease in the number of residential video customers.

Comcast, which doesn’t have standalone online TV or OTT video platforms, does benefit as one of the nation’s largest Internet service providers. The company added 1.23 million high-speed Internet subs in 2018 compared to 1 million net additions in 2017.

High-speed Internet revenue increased 9.3% to $17.1 billion from $15.7 billion, driven by an increase in the number of residential high-speed internet customers and rate adjustments.

Corporate CES Brian Roberts said he was pleased by the “strong” operational and financial results, including the 13th consecutive year of more than 1 million broadband net additions.

In addition, with the closing of the acquisition of British satellite TV operator Sky, Roberts said Comcast has transformed into a global company.

Indeed, Sky revenue increased 2.4% to $5 billion in the fourth quarter. Excluding the impact of currency, revenue increased 5.6%, reflecting higher direct-to-consumer, content and advertising revenue.

Direct-to-consumer revenue increased 4% to $4 billion, driven by improved product penetration for pay-TV, growth in Sky Mobile and Sky Fibre customers, as well as rate adjustments in the U.K.

The quarter’s average direct-to-consumer revenue per customer relationship increased by about 1%. Content revenue increased 35.7% to $363 million, primarily reflecting the wholesaling of sports programming, including exclusive sports rights recently acquired in Italy and Germany, increased penetration of premium sports and movie channels on third party pay-TV networks in the U.K. and monetization of our slate of original programming.

“[We] are excited about its future and the potential of our combined company in 2019 and beyond,” Roberts said in a statement.




Netflix Partners with Indian ISP Hathway

Since launching its pioneering subscription streaming video service globally two years ago, Netflix has reportedly struggled to gain traction in India – the world’s second largest country by population (1.28 billion).

As a result, the SVOD behemoth Sept. 4 announced a pact with Hathway that enables the Indian’s ISP subscribers direct access to Netflix on their pending ($42) set-top box. Hathway subs will also be able to pay for Netflix on their monthly Internet data bill.

The deal mirrors similar agreements between Netflix and Indian telecoms, including most-recently Airtel and Vodafone.

“In this smart and digital era, customers are looking at leading Internet entertainment services like Netflix to access high quality, well-produced entertainment,” Rajan Gupta, managing director at Hathway, said in a statement.

Tony Zameczkowski, VP, business development, Netflix Asia, said the agreement would allow Hathway’s subs to use the Netflix button on their remote controls to access content.

“We’re very excited to partner with Hathway to bring the latest technologies and great stories under one roof,” he said.