Q4 US 230

2,095K adds to 95,056K. Over 100,000,000 including smaller companies. No surprises here. DSL - especially lines not upgraded - continues to be clobbered. Most U.S. cable is 100 megabits or more. Almost half the cable homes are offered a gigabit. In my Manhattan building, Verizon doesn't offer more than 3 megabits.

AT&T is apparently the anomaly here, adding 114K while the other telcos fell. However, without the 3M fiber homes and the joint marketing with DirecTV, they too would be negative. 

Century, Frontier, and Windstream lost between 5% & 10% of their broadband lines. They've starved the network in order to keep the dividend high and eventually it caught up to them. Leaders at all three have been promising investors they would turn around the 600,000 lines lost in 2017. Given the inferior networks, I believe they are lying to themselves.

Karl Bode gets it right. "Other American telcos, like Frontier, Windstream and Centurylink, have effectively refused to upgrade aging DSL lines at any real scale ... Other telcos (like CenturyLink) now don't see residential broadband as worth their time, so they've shifted much of their focus to enterprise services or the acquisition of transit operators like Level 3."

Data is from Leichtman, a reliable source. Bruce estimates these 15 companies are 95% of U.S. broadband lines. The > 3,000 smaller telcos have most of the remainder. Adding those to the 95M total above takes us over 100M today.

The U.S. is less than 12% of world broadband lines. By the end of this year, that may be less than 10%. 


Cable Companies
Comcast 25,869,000 1,168,000
Charter 23,903,000 1,310,000
Altice 4,046,200 83,700
Mediacom 1,209,000 47,000
WOW (WideOpenWest)* 730,000 11,100
Cable ONE** 524,935 11,027
Other Major Private Company^ 4,880,000 90,000
Total Top Cable 61,162,135 2,720,827
Phone Companies
AT&T 15,719,000 114,000
Verizon 6,959,000 (79,000)
CenturyLink 5,662,000 (283,000)
Frontier 3,938,000 (333,000)
Windstream 1,006,600 (44,500)
Cincinnati Bell 308,700 5,500
FairPoint^^ 301,000 (5,624)
Total Top Telco 33,894,300 (625,624)
Total Top Broadband 95,056,435 2,095,203