Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found the 18 largest cable and telephone providers in the United States, representing about 93 percent of the market, acquired about 635,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the third quarter of 2011, but that was less than the third quarter of 2010. These top broadband providers now account for more than 77.8 million subscribers – with cable companies having 43.6 million broadband subscribers and telephone companies having 34.2 million subscribers.

Other broadband findings for the quarter include:

  • The top cable companies added more than 525,000 subscribers, representing 83 percent of the net broadband additions for the quarter versus the top telephone companies;
  • Overall, broadband additions in 3Q11 amounted to 77 percent of those in 3Q10 – with cable having 98 percent as many additions as a year ago, and telcos 38 percent as many additions as a year ago;
  • Comcast added 261,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter – 41 percent of the total for the top providers;
  • AT&T and Verizon added 642,000 fiber subscribers in the quarter (via U-verse and FiOS), while having a net loss of 619,000 DSL subscribers; and
  • The top cable broadband providers have a 56-percent share of the overall market, with nearly a 9.5-million-subscriber advantage over the top telephone companies – compared with 8.2 million a year ago.

"Following the traditionally weak second quarter, the broadband market rebounded with over 635,000 net additional broadband customers in 3Q 2011," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, in a statement. "Over the first three quarters of 2011, the top broadband providers added nearly 2.3 million subscribers, compared to 2.6 million subscribers added in the first three quarters of 2010.

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