When it comes to gaining broadband subscribers, cable companies are lagging behind 5G home internet and fiber providers. New data from New School Research indicates that cable as a product is not the problem. Instead, pricing strategy and customer support are core hindrances for cable’s growth.
Cord cutting 2.0, or users looking for different home internet options, has meant increased competition for seasoned cable broadband providers like Comcast and Spectrum. The providers also face pricing competition from 5G home internet providers as Americans look for ways to save money.
According to New Street’s report, U.S. broadband as a whole added 4.1 million subscribers in the third quarter of 2023. 5G home internet’s NPS — Net Promoter Score — puts it in first place among broadband competitors. Cable’s NPS is negative, but “improving steadily.” The data showed that cable performs well in categories like installation, setup, billing, and overall experience.
New Street’s report analyzed key NPS data from research company Recon Analytics, which conducts weekly surveys with about 10,000 respondents, according to Light Reading. NPS data measures “the effectiveness of company management” and serves as a “solid predictor of future market share.”
As a product, New Street said subscribers are generally satisfied. In addition, companies like Spectrum and Comcast are working to improve their customer service offerings. And where cable falls short against 5G home internet, it’s still outperforming DSL. In addition, New Street’s data shows that 60% of 5G home internet “disconnects” are going to cable broadband.
“Price value and customer care are both issues, and we believe that cable’s pricing strategy contributes to both,” New Street said in its third quarter Broadband Trends report. “The good news for cable is that pricing and customer support are far easier to fix than product.”
For example, in September, as a result of 5G home internet’s explosion, Cable One — also known as Sparklight — introduced a Connect Internet 100 promotion, which halved its regular price tag to $25 a month for a year.
New Street’s report predicts that U.S. broadband will add 3.15 million subscribers this year, and over 3.12 million next year. Overall broadband penetration is expected to reach 97% by 2027.