AT&T, Verizon Contribute to Pitiful Quarter for Broadband Growth

The second quarter was an extremely slow one for broadband growth in the United States.

The 260,000 additions by the 17 largest U.S. cable and phone companies was the fewest of any quarter in the 11 years that Leichtman Research Group has been tracking the industry.

AT&T and Verizon, the two largest phone companies, had fewer net broadband additions in the second quarter than in any previous quarter in the past 11 years, according to the Durham, N.H.-based research and consulting firm. Through their U-verse and FiOS services, AT&T and Verizon wooed 669,000 fiber subscribers; unfortunately, those gains were negated by a loss of 763,000 DSL customers, Leichtman Research Group noted.

"The seasonally weak second quarter again proved to be a slow quarter for industry growth," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, in a statement Tuesday. "Net broadband additions in 2Q 2012 were over one million less than in 1Q 2011, and about 100,000 fewer than in last year’s second quarter, making 2Q 2012 the weakest on record."

The cable industry continues to lead the broadband market with 57 percent share and 11 million more subscribers than the top phone companies, according to Leichtman Research Group.

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