Cable-company spending on network equipment is dropping as major providers like Comcast and Charter finish up their nationwide DOCSIS 3.1 rollouts.
Equipment vendors that sell to cable companies such as Arris/CommScope and Casa Systems are reporting drops in cable-related revenue. Light Reading detailed the situation this week:
Total cable access network-related revenues plummeted 38 percent in Q1 2019, to $275 million, versus the year-ago period, driven by a “strong slowdown” on capacity purchases by MSOs and an ongoing delay in deployments of new distributed access architectures, according to new data from Dell’Oro.
Cable access network spending is known to be lumpy, “but not to this extreme,” said Jeff Heynen, Dell’Oro’s research director, broadband access and home networking. He said he doesn’t recall seeing revenues in this segment of the market reach drop to such a low level since 2013.
He said the trend in reduced Q1 spending can be traced partly to Comcast and Charter Communications, which have all but wrapped up their DOCSIS 3.1 network deployments.
Charter’s first-quarter earnings announcement on April 30 said that its “decrease in scalable infrastructure spending was primarily driven by the completion of the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 technology.” Charter, the nation’s second-largest home Internet provider after Comcast, said its capital expenditures (excluding mobile) will be $7 billion this year, down from $8.9 billion in 2018.
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