Cable companies Charter Communications and Comcast have each raked in at least $100 million in state broadband grants in 2022, leading the pack of operators scrambling to secure government funding for expansion efforts. However, their standing could very well change with subsequent waves of funding.
Public announcements show Charter has won at least $170.8 million so far this year, with Comcast hustling along right behind it, with a total of at least $121.6 million in broadband grant awards so far in 2022. Analysts have previously argued that state-fueled broadband expansions could help cable operators boost flagging subscriber growth. However, competitors such as Verizon, Altice USA, and others remain competitive in the arena of state and federal grant acquisitions, alluding to the potential for a shifting leaderboard in the near future.
Competition among these companies is only set to increase, as the $42.5 billion federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grant ramps up for distribution. The federal government has expressed a clear preference for fiber optic projects, which could see further shifts in grant allocation among internet service providers.
Benton Institute for Broadband & Society