Kagan: Demand Prolongs U.S. Broadband Boom Through Mid-2021

Cable and emerging FTTH deployments are showing healthy demand for high-speed connectivity.

  • Kagan


NEW YORK-- U.S. broadband gains illustrated durable demand for wireline connections in the second quarter, allaying fears of a 2021 hangover, according to Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence. While the 945,000 new broadband subs in second quarter 2021 fall short of the year-ago boom, the jump far exceeds the second-quarter 2019 figure that cable operators have been pointing to as a more likely template for current-year success. 

The combined residential cable, telco and satellite broadband subscribers topped 109.2 million at the end of the second quarter, up 4.3% annually with nearly 4.5 million net adds year over year, according to Kagan's full industry estimates.

Consumer appetites pushed wireline broadband residential penetrations to more than 83%. Including satellite broadband services, residential penetration reached 84.5%

Additional takeaways from Kagan's Q2 2021 report:  

  • Cable subscriber growth in the first half was down from the outsized gains of the pandemic-boosted demand for connectivity. But with 1.9 million residential and commercial net adds year-to-date, cable accounted for 96% of broadband customer gains across the U.S. cable, telco and satellite segments in the first six months of 2021.
  • The surging enthusiasm for FTTH upgrades is boosting telco wireline broadband net adds, albeit at relative magnitudes. While the segment's residential net adds in the second quarter pale in comparison to cable's growth, it represents a dramatic improvement over the second quarter track record since 2016.
  • Combined, the established satellite broadband providers lost 24,000 U.S. subscribers while Starlink begins to establish early momentum.


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