By: MarkJ - 8 February, 2011 (8:13 AM)
cheapest talktalk uk broadbandInternet and phone provider TalkTalk ( AOL UK , Tiscali , Opal ) has released its latest Q3 financial (FY 2010/11) results, which saw its broadband ISP customer base decline by -25,000 from a total of 4,249,000 in the previous quarter to 4,224,000 now. It had previously managed to add +18,000 new customers during Q2.

The move is significant and reflects some of TalkTalk's many problems, most of which hit during the last half of 2010. The ISP is under pressure from Ofcom over bad billing practices (here) and an investigation into whether or not it mis-sold its fixed line phone services (here). Not to mention the Tiscali email migration woes and concern over their tracking of customer website visits.

By contrast TalkTalk itself claims that the decline mainly reflects "continuing churn in the former Tiscali base", as the network and systems migration processes continued to create disruption for some customers. Indeed most of the lost customers have come from their Tiscali side, with TalkTalk itself still being in positive territory.

Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, commented:

"We have made a good start implementing the new strategy we announced in November last year, focusing on simplifying our business, improving our operating margins, and delivering value for money products and services for our existing customers.

We successfully completed the last major milestone in our One Company integration programme at the end of January, migrating former Tiscali customers onto our core billing system, ahead of schedule. The integration programme has caused some customer disruption, but provides a strong platform for us to deliver a better experience for all our customers, and enables us to drive further operating efficiencies across the whole business.

Unbundling our customer base is ahead of target and the next phase of our network buildout is already under way. We have now initiated a major reorganisation that will simplify our business and deliver material operational efficiencies. Our operating performance in the third quarter was in line with our expectations and we remain on track to deliver our full-year guidance."

Presently 85% of TalkTalk's broadband customers are using the groups cheaper unbundled ( LLU ) platform (up from 81% in Q2), which covers over 80% of the UK population. TalkTalk is currently rolling-out its network to an additional 700 exchanges, which will make the service available to 93% of the population. Some 55 of the 700 exchanges are already under way.

The good news is that TalkTalk claims to still be "on track" with its quad play ambitions, despite concern that its TalkTalk TV service might be delayed due to internal squabbles and technical problems within the YouView camp. It has also pledged to improve its mobile offering and market the service "more actively [with] our fixed line customer base".

On top of that TalkTalk is about to launch its new FTTC based "Fibre Bradband Boost" add-on for existing customers, which will give them download speeds of up to 40Mbps. In addition to this they've just announced a new deal with BSkyB ( Sky Broadband ) to trial their own 100Mbps fibre optic FTTH broadband service.

TalkTalk FTTH Trial

To better understand the technical and commercial aspects of the next stage of the planned BT Openreach fibre roll-out, which will be based on fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), we have entered into a shared research and development project with BSkyB to deploy a small-scale FTTH network to 3,600 homes in North-West London.

This project will allow us to input constructively into the Openreach FTTH programme, gaining insights into potential service offerings, set-up processes, usage patterns and costs to deliver. The project costs are being shared between the two companies and are not material.

The latter news bodes well for the future, although most customers tell us that they would prefer it if TalkTalk refocused upon improving customer service and quality. This would at least patch up the Tiscali bleed and give them room to focus on developing new services without risking further harm to their reputation.

Today's results also push TalkTalk down one place in our Top 10 ISPs By Subscriber Size table, which makes Virgin Media the second largest broadband provider once again.
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Comments: 3

asa logoKyle
Posted: 8 February, 2011 - 2:34 PM
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It really doesn't matter how much you offer and which wonderful services you provide. If you have TalkTalk running the show, it means nothing.

There is so much potential with this company, yet it is very much stooped in a 'cheap and nasty' aura.
asa logoMr B
Posted: 8 February, 2011 - 8:05 PM
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I once tried to find out on talk talks website as was interested in there service what would be best deal for me


OOOOOOOOOO what a mistake that was i ended up having 6 calls in one day with from talktalk staff trying to sign me up i even said on the first call if im interested i'll call you back and asked politly if they would call back .

Im now with Plusnet based in sheffield (no off shore call centres) not a bad company 24/7 call centre for customer service and believe it or not technical support (big wow in my books)

But yet have had some problems with service but always gave me realistic times and even some times couldnt give me an answer and told this to me ,
At least plusnet is honest as per there adverts but just because ive said plusnet is good doesnt meen you'll enjoy them or other plusnet customer are enjoying there service.
Overall Talktalk get your thumb out.
asa logoGM
Posted: 1 March, 2011 - 6:59 AM
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They offer an appalling service. After 3 weeks with connection speeds that barely touched dial-up and numerous complaints to their customer service department they announced that it was because I was a former Tiscali customer and there was not enough bandwidth available and there was no plans to increase it. I am now having issues trying to cancel the contract. Do not touch this company with a proverbial bargepole - they are bad news big time.



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