North America Broadband Sustains Growth in 1Q21

After the strongest year of broadband growth on record, demand continued into 1Q21. Broadband subscribers reached 135.5 million at the end of 1Q21. Cable operators continue to dominate the North American broadband market with 64 percent of subscribers, while Telco captures 33 percent and the other category (Satellite Broadband & Fixed Wireless Access) represents 1 percent.


Growth in FTTH continues, as net adds continue to match or beat cable broadband net additions. At the end of 1Q21, there were 26.5 million FTTH subscribers vs. 87.4 million cable broadband subscribers and 19 million DSL subscribers.


FTTH net additions experienced the strongest growth at 21 percent Y-o-Y and nearly 4 percent quarter-over-quarter. By comparison, cable grew 6.5 percent Y-o-Y and 1.2 percent quarter-over-quarter. DSL declined by 12.4 percent Y-o-Y and 2 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Verizon remains the single largest FTTH operator with 6.3 million subscribers, followed closely by AT&T with 5.2 million. Based on the current growth rate at AT&T, it is expected to become the largest FTTH operators by the end of 2021.


On the cable broadband side, Comcast is the largest operator with 31 million subscribers, followed by Charter with 29.2 million.

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