Press Releases

About 2,950,000 Added Broadband From Top Providers in 2021

Broadband Additions in 2021 Were Higher Than in Each Year From 2016-2019

Durham, NH — March 7, 2022 — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – acquired about 2,950,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2021, compared to a pro forma gain of about 4,860,000 subscribers in 2020, and about 2,550,000 in 2019.   

These top broadband providers now account for about 108.4 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 75.7 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having about 32.7 million subscribers.

Findings for the year include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 2021 were 61% of the total in 2020, and 115% of the total in 2019
  • The top cable companies had about 2.8 million net adds in 2021, 58% of the cable broadband additions in 2020, and 89% of additions in 2019
  • The top wireline phone companies added about 150,000 subscribers in 2021 – compared to a gain of about 30,000 subscribers in 2020, and a net loss of about 590,000 subscribers in 2019
    • Telcos had about about 1.8 million net adds via fiber in 2021 – compared to about 1.64 million fiber net adds in 2020
  • Among these top providers, cable companies accounted for 95% of the net broadband adds in 2021 – compared to 99% in 2020, and 123% in 2019

“Broadband additions proved to be resilient in 2021 following 2020’s pandemic-related surge in subscribers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.  “The top broadband providers added significantly fewer subscribers in 2021 than in 2020, but the net adds in 2021 were higher than in each year from 2016-2019.”

Broadband ProvidersSubscribers at end of 2021Net Adds in 2021
Cable Companies
Comcast31,901,000 1,327,000
Cable One**1,055,00063,000
Breezeline/Atlantic Broadband**716,77818,778
WOW (WideOpenWest)511,70012,900
Total Top Cable 75,652,6782,803,278
Wireline Phone Companies
Cincinnati Bell* 440,0003,900
Total Top Telco32,702,064148,007
Total Top Broadband108,354,7422,951,285
Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

*    LRG estimate

**   Includes LRG estimate of pro forma net adds

^    Does not include 173,000 fixed wireless net adds in 2021, bringing the total to about 228,000 subscribers

Does not include T-Mobile’s 546,000 fixed wireless net adds in 2021, bringing the total to 646,000 subscribers

TDS includes about 309,000 wireline broadband subscribers, and about 217,000 cable broadband subscribers

Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households – about 6% of the total are non-residential

Top cable and wireline phone companies represent approximately 96% of all subscribers


Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, reporting adjustments, and the addition of new providers to the list – therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases will not produce accurate findings

About Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) specializes in research and analysis on broadband, media and entertainment industries. LRG combines ongoing consumer surveys with industry tracking and analysis, to provide companies with a richer understanding of current market conditions, and the potential impact and adoption of new products and services. For more information about LRG, please call (603) 397-5400 or visit

Click here to download a printable version (in PDF format)