What is MSO?

MSO – stands for Multiple System Operators and is referred to as a cable operator that owns more than two or multiple cable TV systems.

MSO is an operator of multiple cable or direct-broadcast satellite television systems. A cable system in the United States, by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) definition, is a facility serving a single community or a distinct governmental entity, each of which has its own franchise agreement with the cable company. Though in the strictest sense any cable company that serves multiple communities is an MSO, the term today is usually reserved for companies that own multiple cable systems, such as Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, and Videotron in Canada; Altice USA, Charter Communications, Comcast and Cox Communications in the United States; or Virgin Media in the UK.

How many cable companies are there in the US?

There are 450 cable internet service providers in the United States as of 2020. The largest provider in terms of coverage area is XFINITY from Comcast with availability in 40 states and an availability footprint covering 111,564,376 people.

Pros and Cons of Cable Internet


  • Wide coverage
  • Relatively low cost
  • Low latency (lag)
  • Low-priced TV and/or phone bundling options


  • Limited providers in a given area
  • Limited rural availability
  • Slower speeds at peak hours

What is cable internet?

Cable internet makes use of pre-existing cable television infrastructure to deliver high-speed internet to consumers, which is faster than DSL in most areas. Unlike satellite internet, the cable is not affected by outages caused by storms. While cable cannot perform as fast as fiber-optic internet, cable providers offer much wider coverage than fiber at this time.

Top 5 Cable Providers in the USA by Coverage Availability

Cable internet providers include some of the top telecom companies in the United States, as measured by size. The cable is one of the most common choices for internet service in suburban and urban areas since it combines relatively fast speeds with competitive, low pricing.


The top five most available cable internet providers listed by coverage in the US are XFINITY from ComcastCharter SpectrumCox Communications, Optimum by Altice, and Mediacom Cable.

If you are trying to compare multiple cable internet providers in the same city, be sure to consider factors such as promotions, data caps, download/upload speeds, contract terms, and local consumer reviews.

XFINITY from Comcast and Charter Spectrum have widespread coverage while Cox Communications, Optimum by Altice, and Mediacom have coverage in dense pockets where they’re available. If you’re considering bundling, whether now or later down the line, each of these providers offers double and triple play plans. Cable providers often offer discounts on each service when bundled together. Perks like no data caps and an extended promotional period are also offered for a bundle package.

Cable Companies In Your Area

You can check for which of these providers is in your area using the Zip Code search tool at the top of the page.

While there are hundreds of cable providers registered with the FCC, most customers will only have access to one provider. Why? Keep in mind cable internet service is delivered by cable TV companies. The coaxial cable lines they use for the internet and TV are privately owned. In most cases, only one cable provider will be connected to any given house.


Is your company in need of help? MV3 Marketing Agency has numerous Marketing experts ready to assist you!. Contact MV3 Marketing to jump-start your business.


« Back to Glossary Index