Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Eric Helland


Prior to 1996, U.S. telephone companies and cable operators were prohibited by the Federal Communications Commission from competing against each other. However, that all changed when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed telephone service providers to offer cable television services while also permitting cable operators to offer telephone and broadband services. In recent years, direct competition between wireless carriers and cable companies has intensified. Mid-band wireless carriers, T-Mobile and Verizon, have set ambitious targets on a new offering called fixed wireless access that will directly compete with home broadband offerings from Charter and Comcast. Meanwhile, cable companies launched their own wireless service offerings in 2017 and have taken a meaningful share of wireless industry net adds.

This paper will examine the economics and competitive dynamics of the largest publicly traded U.S. wireless and cable companies following the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and attempt to predict which stocks will be the winners and losers over the next decade. Due to the lack of significant market share of smaller wireless carriers and cable operators, this paper will mostly focus on the “big three” wireless companies (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon) and the two largest cable operators, Charter and Comcast. Analysis of other wireless and cable companies is beyond the scope of this paper.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.