Mike Farrell

Home Networks Are the New Industry Battleground

While the telecommunications industry has spent the past few decades touting the ever-increasing bandwidth of their various broadband products, a panel of top cable experts said that consumers are increasingly looking to how those services perform as they continue to pile devices and applications onto their networks. Users are becoming more concerned with how their different applications and services interact with their broadband network, Charter's Justin Colwell said. Home networks are getting more sophisticated as they increasingly have to handle more and more devices per home.

Fixed Wireless Is Having Its Day, But Fiber Is the Real Competition

Comcast Executive Vice President and Deputy Chief Financial Officer Jason Armstrong said the biggest threat to the cable business is coming from fiber, not just from fixed wireless access (FWA). While there have been several factors attributed to the accelerated slowdown in cable broadband growth -- sluggish new home formation, minimal housing moves, and the transition to a new federally subsidized program for low-income families -- competition from both fixed wireless and, especially, fiber-based broadband providers have emerged as significant players.

Charter Says Fixed Wireless Was a Factor in Q2 Broadband Subscriber Declines

Charter Communications Chief Financial Officer Jessica Fischer tacitly acknowledged the impact of fixed wireless access (FWA) competition on broadband subscriber growth. FWA technology was one of four factors that led to the cable operator’s first-ever broadband customer loss in Q2. Charter lost about 21,000 broadband customers in the second quarter, one of several cable operators that experienced declines in that segment after months of slow growth. Fischer said Q2 performance was impacted by four factors: sluggish new home growth, seasonality, fixed wireless competition, and fiber overbui

Cable One Misses Second Quarter 2022 Broadband Targets as More Fixed Wireless Competition Looms

Cable One added 1,300 residential broadband customers in second quarter 2022, soundly missing analysts’ consensus estimates of 5,200 additions.

Greg Walden Gives Advice on How To Win Broadband Funding

Former House Commerce Committee Chairman Freg Walden (R-OR) has a simple answer for small cable operators that are hard pressed to know how to navigate the bureaucratic quagmire to broadband finding: get to know the decisionmakers. He said that to win those funds, small operators are going to have to learn how their state government machinery works. “[E]ach state is going to be a little different, some will be better staffed and ready for this money,” Walden said.

Analysts See Cable’s Broadband Growth Slipping as Wireless Momentum Continues

MoffettNathanson joined the recent chorus of a steeper-than-anticipated slowdown in broadband subscriber growth for the second quarter of 2022, expecting large operators like Comcast and Charter Communications to report less than half the customer gains they did in the first quarter, while wireless customer additions are anticipated to maintain their recent upward momentum. After its purchase by SVB Financial Group, MoffettNathanson was required to reinitiate its coverage of the sector, and on July 12 it did just that.

Charter Commits Another $1 Million to Spectrum Digital Education Initiative

Charter Communications said that it will commit an additional $1 million to its 2022 Spectrum Digital Education grant initiative, boosting the total amount invested in the six-year program to $8 million. Charter launched Spectrum Digital Education in 2017, and through February 2022 the company said grants and in-kind contributions have helped 99 nonprofit organizations and more than 95,000 people in 22 states and Washington (DC).

Fixed Wireless Could Add 10 Million Subscribers by 2027

Fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband could add more than 10 million subscribers in the next five years, driven by programs geared toward rural markets, according to Wells Fargo telecom and media analysts Eric Luebchow and Steven Cahall. The analysts predict that total broadband subscriber additions will accelerate to 4.5-to-5 million annually in 2023 and 2024, fueled mainly by FWA and fiber overbuilds. Over the next five years, Luebchow and Cahall predict FWA will rise from 7.1 million total subscribers at the end of 2021 to 17.6 million in 2027.

Comcast To Spend $32.6 Million To Expand Fiber Network in Oregon, Utah

Comcast said that it will spend nearly $33 million to extend its fiber network in two communities in Oregon and Utah, a move that is expected to bring about 23,000 additional homes and businesses under the Xfinity service umbrella. In Utah, Comcast said it will expand service to more than 18,000 homes and businesses in Eagle Mountain City (UT) over the next four years. The cost of the project will be about $22 million and will not use any public funds.

How Long Can the Fiber Boom Last?

With practically every telecom and cable company moving to step up their fiber buildout plans over the next few years, MoffettNathanson senior analyst Craig Moffett wonders if the recent acceleration in construction was indeed too much, and whether telecom and cable companies will be able to justify the cost.