USA - Fixed Broadband Market - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

The US broadband market is seeing significant investment activity in fibre deployments, HFC upgrades with DOCSIS3.1 technology, and to a lesser extent G.fast. In addition, the market players are in the forefront with developing technologies and services based on 5G, which will facilitate the ability of customers to access their bundled services. For some years much of the investment in fibre was undertaken by a number of smaller players and municipalities rather than the two key telcos, AT&T and Verizon, which had concentrated on a hybrid fibre/copper network.

However, there has been a significant shift in the market since 2016. One of the key proponents of gigabit services, Google Fiber, began scaling back its efforts at the end of the year, though it still promotes services in a number of markets. At the same time, AT&T and Verizon have shifted their investment efforts from a hybrid fibre-copper architecture to pure fibre. AT&T expected to provide a 1Gb/s FttP service to 12.5 million premises by 2019, with a view to upgrading to XG(S)-PON within a few years. For its part, Verizon had a patchy experience with its FttN rollouts and so has chosen to switch deployment to FttP.

At the same time a growing number of cablecos have launched DOCSIS3.1 services, able to provide data at 1Gb/s and above. Future HFC technologies promise considerably faster speeds in the years ahead.

Broadband services in most regions still lack effective competition, with AT&T and Verizon managing an effective duopoly in many areas of the country. Both are looking to expand their reach and service capabilities, with AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner prompting Verizon to consider responding with further acquisitions of its own. Municipal activity, often geared at breaking this stranglehold and introducing competition and innovation, continues to be stymied by lobbying pressure from these main telcos, which has led to almost half of the states banning or restricting municipal or state-led infrastructure projects.

There is growing recognition of the importance of a trans-sectoral approach to broadband networks, including the health, education and energy sectors, in order to fully realise the benefits of the nascent digital economy. The FCC’s 2016 Broadband Progress Report reveals how much still needs to be done to move the US broadband market forward.

This report reviews several aspects of the cable, DSL, FttP, Wi-Fi and WiMAX broadband markets in the US. It provides market analyses as well as a range of relevant statistics in general and on the key operators.

Key developments:

Comcast expands DOCSIS3.1 markets; Altice Group acquires Suddenlink Communications and Cablevisión, rebrands as Altice USA; $1.5 billion allocated to round 2 of the Connect America Fund; Frontier acquires Verizon’s wireline assets in three western states for $10.5 billion; New York state proposal for $1 billion investment in broadband infrastructure, using state and private funds; Next Century Cities program expands to 50 cities developing affordable broadband solutions; USDA makes available $190.5 million in loans and grants for rural broadband; FCC rules 25Mb/s as a newly defined broadband speed; FCC approves $2 billion to improve Wi-Fi to schools; FCC releases 2016 Broadband Progress Report; report update includes telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Clearwire, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, MetroPCS, US Cellular, Qwest, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications, Windstream, Fairpoint, Cincinnati Bell, Comcast, Google, HughesNet, ViaSat

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Introduction and statistical overview
    • 2.1 Market analysis
    • 2.2 Broadband statistics
    • 2.3 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
      • 2.3.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 3. Policy and regulation framework
    • 3.1 Network regulation overview
    • 3.2 Broadband stimulus package
    • 3.3 FCC’s National Broadband Plan
    • 3.4 Universal Service Fund
      • 3.4.1 From Universal Service to Universal Broadband
      • 3.4.2 Telco obstruction
      • 3.4.3 State and municipal broadband developments
    • 3.5 Private networks
    • 3.6 Network neutrality
  • 4. Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
    • 4.1 New technologies
    • 4.2 Cable operators
      • 4.2.1 Altice USA
      • 4.2.2 Comcast Corporation
      • 4.2.3 Charter Communications
  • 5. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Verizon
    • 5.3 AT&T
    • 5.4 Frontier Communications
    • 5.5 G.fast developments
  • 6. Other fixed broadband services
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 Wi-Fi
      • 6.2.1 Wi-Fi Networks
      • 6.2.2 AT&T
    • 6.3 WiMAX
    • 6.4 Municipal wireless broadband
      • 6.4.1 Next Century Cities
      • 6.4.2 Los Angeles
      • 6.4.3 Other developments
    • 6.5 State and municipal deployments
    • 6.6 Satellite broadband
  • 7. PLC
  • 8. Digital -economy
    • 8.1 E-services
      • 8.1.1 E-entertainment
      • 8.1.2 E-health
      • 8.1.3 E-government
      • 8.1.4 E-education
      • 8.1.5 E-commerce
  • 9. Digital media
    • 9.1 Videostreaming
    • 9.2 OTT and cord-cutting
    • 9.3 Music streaming
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 3 – Historic - Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2009
  • Table 4 – Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 5 – Forecast broadband subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • Table 6 – Market competition: proportion of broadband subscribers by speed band – 2014
  • Table 7 – Market competition: proportion of broadband subscribers – 2015
  • Table 8 – Top 10 cable MSOs’ subscribers – 2010; 2012 - 2016
  • Table 9 – US cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2016
  • Table 10 – Historic - Cablevision subscriptions by service – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 11 – Historic - Cablevision financial data – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 12 – Altice USA RGUs by service – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 13 – Suddenlink financial data – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 14 – Suddenlink RGUs by service – 2015 – 2016
  • Table 15 – Comcast financial data – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 16 – Comcast revenue by service– 2012 - 2016
  • Table 17 – Comcast subscriptions by service – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 18 – Comcast bundled services subscriptions – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 19 – Time Warner financial data – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 20 – Charter Communications financial data – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 21 – Charter Communications residential revenue by type – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 22 – Charter Communications residential RGUs by type – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 23 – Broadband subscribers for major telco providers – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 24 – Verizon wireline (FiOS) operational data – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 25 – Verizon wireline financial data – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 26 – AT&T fixed-line operational data – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 27 – AT&T financial data – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 28 – Frontier Communications revenue – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 29 – Frontier Communications customers by sector – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 30 - Online retail sales – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 31 – Proportion of viewers receiving content, by platform – 2014 – 2016
  • Table 32 – Music streaming revenue by type – 2012 - 2014
  • Table 33 – Music access by household – 2012 - 2014
  • Table 34 – Music streaming revenue by type – 2012 - 2014
  • Chart 1 – Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2017
  • Chart 2 – Comcast revenue by service– 2012 – 2016
  • Chart 3 – Comcast subscriptions by service – 2012 – 2016
  • Chart 4 – Verizon wireline (FiOS) operational data – 2010 – 2016
  • Chart 5 – AT&T operational data – 2011 – 2016
  • Chart 6 – AT&T financial data – 2011 – 2016

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Number of pages 52

Status Current

Last updated 22 Mar 2017
Update History

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

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