"In the first three quarters of 2017, cable companies added about 2,000,000 broadband subscribers, while Telcos lost about 430,000 subscribers." Bruce Leichtman. Ten years of telco dis-investment across half the United States is allowing cablecos to rise from 55% of the market to 64%. They are pulling further away every quarter. 

AT&T's stock went down $13B on they day they warned about disappointing numbers. If they had spent even a fraction of $13B on investment, their numbers would have been fine. Verizon's investment % has gone down for several years; this quarter, they lost 10,000  broadband customers.

Frontier lost 63,000 subscribers, The stock has gone down 85% this year to a level that implies a serious bankruptcy risk. That is unlikely before 2020 because they don't have large debts coming due. They have been dis-investing for years, with capex less than depreciation. Centurylink lost 101,000 for the same reason. 

I only have one choice for a decent Internet connection, Time Warner cable. Verizon can only supply 3 megabits to my building in Manhattan. About half of the U.S. has only one source, the cableco. Cable prices have gone up 30% during a period the actual costs of broadband have been flat to down. That's a market failure.

These numbers are from Leichtman, whose figures have long been accurate.

 

Broadband Providers

Subscribers at end of 3Q 2017

Net Adds in 3Q 2017

 

Cable Companies

   
 

Comcast

25,519,000

213,000

 

Charter

23,603,000

285,000

 

Altice

4,020,900

16,500

 

Mediacom

1,194,000

9,000

 

WOW (WideOpenWest)

730,000

2,400

 

Cable ONE*

519,062

(2,662)

 

Other major private company**

4,860,000

15,000

 

Total Top Cable

60,445,962

538,238

 

Phone Companies

   
 

AT&T

15,715,000

29,000

 

Verizon

6,978,000

(10,000)

 

CenturyLink

5,767,000

(101,000)

 

Frontier

4,000,000

(63,000)

 

Windstream

1,017,400

(8,400)

 

Cincinnati Bell

307,900

800

 

FairPoint^

301,000

(3,193)

 

Total Top Telco

34,086,300

(155,793)

 

Total Top Broadband

94,532,262

382,445

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Breaking: Verizon announced 5G to 30M homes. Reporters from the Wall Street Journal to the Albanian Times treated this as big news. I had the story May 2, if I may brag a little. “The decision had been made to go to a one-third to one-half the United States.” Key takeaways: "Every variable tested during the trials came out better than assumed," including 600 meter median reach. 5G mmWave is so cheap capex won't go up.

On the contrary, BT, FT, & DT recently said they would go slow on 5G mmWave (2022-2024 for most.) They already cover nearly their entire country with broadband; Verizon only about one quarter of the U.S. VZ has incentive to build out of market; the Europeans don’t. More below.

London: Princess Leia was here at the Huawei MBBF. Huawei hosted a 5G demo of a woman suspended in space. It wasn’t actually Leia, but you almost expected the highly realistic 3D rendered figure to start saying “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re our only hope.” (It also was on a special 2D screen rather than a hologram floating in mid-air.)

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