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Why Charter Continues to Gain Broadband Subscribers

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Cord-cutting has a positive side

In this article, we’ll take a look at the robust performance of Charter Communications’ (CHTR) Internet division, a key growth driver for the telecom company. Charter Communications is witnessing ongoing growth in its broadband customers, given the faster speeds.

The growth in Charter Communications’ Internet component could suggest bright prospects for the telecom company. Demand is growing for high-speed Internet connections as people shift to television services delivered via the Internet. These services include Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation Vue, Alphabet’s (GOOGL) YouTube TV, Amazon’s (AMZN) Prime Video, and Netflix (NFLX). Charter Communications could be in a position to benefit from that opportunity.

In 4Q17, Charter Communications had net broadband additions of 263,000 customers. This additions number, however, fell 26.3% on a year-over-year (or YoY) basis. In 4Q16, the telecom company had added 357,000 Internet subscribers.

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The US Internet market

Let’s look at the Internet customer base of some of the top US cable companies. At the end of 4Q17, Comcast’s (CMCSA) Internet customer base remained the largest in the United States, with 25.9 million broadband customers.

The number of Charter Communications’ Internet customers increased ~5.5% YoY to reach 22.5 million at the end of 4Q17. CHTR is the second-largest US cable company after Comcast.

The third-largest Internet customer base belonged to AT&T (T), with 15.7 million broadband customers. Verizon (VZ) has the fourth-largest Internet subscriber base in the US, with 7.0 million broadband customers.

During the recent Charter Communications 4Q17 earnings conference call, the company’s management noted that it has improved its Internet speeds. CHTR offers minimum download speeds of 100 Mbps (megabits per second) in 99% of its footprint, up from just 50% at the end of 2Q17.

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