Mediacom kicks off broadband expansion with work in 20 cities

U.S. operator Mediacom revealed work is well underway on a plan to expand high-speed broadband to 500,000 new locations over the next three years, telling Fierce construction projects are currently in progress in 20 communities.

A company representative said it has been working with state and local government agencies in Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin to facilitate its plan. In addition to the work already underway, the representative said it has “broadband grant applications pending approval in roughly 30 additional communities.”

Additionally, the representative noted Mediacom last month launched a fixed wireless broadband product called Bolt, which uses the 3.5GHz spectrum it won at auction in 2020. The operator previously stated its broadband expansion plan would include a combination of new builds, line extensions and fixed wireless access service. Subscriber figures and targets for Bolt were not immediately available.

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The comments came after the company posted Q2 2021 results which showed a 5.9% year-on-year increase in consolidated revenue to $557 million. High-speed data revenue was up 15.8% to $268.6 million, business services sales increased 5.2% to $77.9 million and advertising revenue grew 18.4% to $9.8 million. Video and phone revenue fell 5.3% to $172.3 million and 3.7% to $28.5 million, respectively.

Mediacom added 14,000 high-speed data customers in Q2, down from 47,000 in the year-ago quarter. The representative said the change represents “more of a return to normal” compared to the “unique” figures generated in 2020. Approximately 25% of new customers are taking its top tier speed offering and the company now expects around 20% of its total residential broadband customer base to be at 1 gig by the end of the year, the representative said.

The operator declined to disclose the number of customers who signed up for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit program in Q2. However, the representative said it has seen “seen steady week-over-week growth since the program launched” in May and believes even more households may take advantage of the program as students head back to school in August and September.

Last week, the FCC revealed more than four million households have already enrolled to receive the $50 per month broadband subsidy.

Mediacom is the fifth largest cable operator in the U.S., serving more than 1.4 million homes and businesses across 22 states. As a private company, it still issues quarterly performance updates but does not host earnings calls with executives.