Although its cable revenues generally held steady in the third quarter, Rogers Communications surprisingly picked up much fewer broadband and IPTV customers over the summer even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage throughout Canada.
In Q3 results released late last week, Rogers reported netting a mere 16,000 broadband customers during the summer quarter, less than half the 41,000 subs it added in the same period a year earlier. As a result, it closed out September with 2.57 million broadband subs, up 67,000 from a year ago.
Similarly, on the IPTV end, Rogers reported adding just 38,000 subscribers for its cloud-based Ignite TV service, down from 66,000 in the year-ago period. That lifted the sub total for Ignite TV, a licensed version of Comcast's X1 service, to 473,000, up from 220,000 a year earlier.
Despite the year-over-year declines in broadband and IPTV sub growth, Rogers executives pronounced themselves pleased with the results on their quarterly earnings call with analysts last Thursday (October 22). They stressed that while the numbers were down markedly from a year ago, they were notably up from the second quarter.
"Homes passed and customer relationships each grew year-over-year and sequentially," said Rogers CFO Tony Staffieri. "While Internet and Ignite TV net additions were down, they both recovered from Q2" levels.
Rogers officials also promoted the high speeds they are delivering over their HFC network, which has now been fully upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1 and the ability to deliver 1-gig speeds. They noted earlier last week network testing specialist Ookla named Rogers as the Internet provider with the fastest speeds in Canada and the best consistent performance nationally.
Looking towards the future, Rogers executives said they "remain focused on our Connected Home roadmap, driven by our Ignite TV product." They said the next steps on that roadmap include adding more apps and content to Ignite TV and launching more new products.
Today’s access network architecture is under mounting pressure due to a continued surge in the number of connected devices, a proliferation of bandwidth-intensive customer applications and dramatic shifts in usage patterns related to the pandemic, such as work-from-home and e-learning.
Learn why now is the right time for cable operators to build greenfield networks or expand their existing networks with 10G PON, arming customers with high-speed symmetrical broadband. Gain a clear understanding of the drivers impacting the access network and the various approaches being considered to deliver higher speed services. Plus, find out the best practices that operators are employing as they leverage the latest in passive optical technology to future-proof their networks.
Topics to be covered include:
Node + 0 (Fiber Deep)
DOCSIS 3.1, DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX/ESD)
FTTP and 10G PON
Provisioning 10G PON within a DOCSIS B/OSS environment