Broadband adds slow as cable industry settles into transformative period

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A new report from Kagan, the media research unit of S&P Global, shows that broadband subscriber growth has "cooled significantly in the third quarter" of 2021, stalling in growth for the first time in three years. The decline can be attributed to "a difficult comparison with the booming gains of 2020," the report says. Cable providers Comcast and Charter Communications both had fewer internet net adds in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 2020. For the third quarter, Comcast reported 300,000 net adds in broadband customers. In the same quarter of 2020, the company gained 633,000 customers. At Charter, broadband customer net adds totaled 265,000 for the third quarter, compared to 537,000 in the third quarter of 2020. Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said students returning to campus gave college markets activity level boosts, but he called the current broadband landscape "competitive" due to decreasing activity levels overall. "As things stand, we still expect to return to broadband customer growth in quarter four and therefore, grow slightly for the full year," Goei said. While broadband subscriber growth has slowed, each household's broadband use is expected to stay high. John Horrigan, Senior Fellow at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, thinks the Emergency Broadband Benefit program is helping to get new households online based on survey data out of Philadelphia. "I think it is having an impact on groups that have been way behind on broadband adoption — namely low-income households and communities of color," Horrigan told Axios.

Broadband adds slow as cable industry settles into transformative period Broadband subscriber growth stalls after pandemic gains (Axios)