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Broadband Providers Add 1 Million New Subs in Q1

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DURHAM, N.H.—The rapid growth in broadband internet subscribers since the start of the pandemic continued in the first quarter of 2021, with the largest cable and telco providers adding 1,020,000 net subs, according to new data from the Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG). 

LRG also noted that the largest U.S. cable and wireline phone providers in the U.S., which account for about 96% of the U.S. market, now have about 107 million subscribers.

Cable serves most of them, with about 73.7 million broadband subscribers and it gobbled up most of the gains with 935,000 new subs in Q1 2021. 

Top wireline phone companies had about 33.3 million subscribers with 85,000 new subs in Q1 2021 compared to a net loss of about 60,000 subscribers a year earlier. 

Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG, explained that the 1 million new subs in Q1 2021, “marked the fourth time in the past five quarters that there were more than one million net broadband additions in the U.S. Over the past year, there were about 4,665,000 net broadband adds, compared to about 2,760,000 net broadband adds over the prior year.”

Comcast added the largest number of new subs with 460,000, boosting its broadband subs to 31.0 million in Q1 2021, followed by Charter with a 460,000 bounce for a total of 29.3 million broadband subs.