The Associated Press
broke down last quarter's broadband numbers and the results aren't pretty -- at least for the telcos. Incumbents are giving up on DSL and the smaller telcos lack the funds or competitive impetus to upgrade their networks, and the results are obvious. Windstream lost broadband subscribers last quarter for the first time ever
losing 2,200 subscribers for a 1.36 million total. Verizon added just 2,000 net broadband users last quarter, the worst quarterly result in four years. The AP
quotes Verizon as saying that the hit was due to Verizon's decision to stop selling standalone DSL
Verizon Communications Inc. gained just 2,000 broadband customers in the latest quarter — the worst result in four years. Verizon says the weak showing was in part due to Verizon ending the sale of DSL connections to people who don't have a landline phone account. The effort is part of an attempt to improve profitability.
That's partially true, but the AP
fails to note these losses by Verizon are intentional. As I recently noted in a piece here
that was also picked up at Ars Technica
, Verizon has intentionally been driving unwanted DSL customers to cable as they shift their focus from fixed broadband to wireless services and cuddle up to the cable industry (with the added benefit of getting rid of unionized labor). Verizon hopes that most of their current DSL and POTS customers either flee to cable, or that they wind up on the company's fixed LTE service
, which packs far costly $10 per gigabyte overages.
Meanwhile, smaller telcos like Windstream, Frontier, Fairpoint and CenturyLink find themselves unable or unwilling to upgrade their networks to keep pace with faster cable speeds. That's going to result in considerably more bloodshed for the telcos as additional subscribers jump ship (assuming they have the choice), resulting in cable's domination of the U.S. residential broadband market.