The Broadband Boom Continues: 890K New U.S. Broadband Subs Added in 2Q 2021

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Durham, N.H.—Despite predictions that operators would see a marked slowdown in new broadband subs this year after the big gains they made in 2020 during the pandemic lockdowns, the largest cable operators and telcos acquired about 890,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2Q 2021, according to the Leichtman Research Group (LRG). 

That was down from a pro forma gain of about 1,260,000 subscribers in 2Q 2020 but still above expectations.  

“Net broadband additions in the second quarter of 2021 were the most in any second quarter in the past decade, except for 2Q 2020,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.  “Top broadband providers added 8,000,000 subscribers over the past two years, including about 4,330,000 net adds over the past year, and about 3,670,000 net adds over the prior year.”

These top broadband providers now account for about 107.4 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 74.7 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having about 32.7 million subscribers, LRG reported. 

LRG also reported that the top cable companies added about 840,000 subscribers in 2Q 2021 (60% of the net additions for the top cable companies in 2Q 2020) and that top wireline phone companies added about 50,000 total broadband subscribers in 2Q 2021. Those gains contrasted a net loss of about 140,000 subscribers in 2Q 2020. 

Telcos had about 400,000 net adds via fiber in 2Q 2021, and about 350,000 non-fiber net losses

The top two broadband provider remained Comcast with 31.39 million (up 354,000 in 2Q 2021) followed by Charter at 29.64 million (up 400,000).

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George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.