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Sky Broadband to Overtake TalkTalk and Become 3rd Largest UK ISP

Friday, Jun 15th, 2012 (9:03 am) - Score 1,455

Analyst firm Strategy Analytics predicts that Sky Broadband (BSkyB) will continue to see strong growth throughout 2012 and add an additional 425,000 broadband subscribers by the end of 2012, which would give them a total of roughly 4.3 Million and most likely place them ahead of TalkTalk and close to the second largest ISP Virgin Media.

At present Sky has a total of 3,863,000 broadband subscribers, although its growth over the past few quarters has been extremely strong; thanks to the launch of new content and services like free wifi and superfast broadband etc. By contrast TalkTalk has continued to bleed internet customers and Virgin Media has seen a much more muted level of growth. This is easy to see when we split the last two quarterly additions for each provider out from our Top 10 ISPs page.

Quarterly Broadband Additions for the Top 4 UK ISPs (ISPreview.co.uk)

BT (Total 6,280,000)
Q4-2011 = +146,000
Q1-2012 = +136,000

Virgin Media (Total 4,381,600)
Q4-2011 = +17,500
Q1-2012 = +30,500

TalkTalk (Total 4,066,000)
Q4-2011 = -43,000
Q1-2012 = -13,000

Sky Broadband (Total 3,863,000)
Q4-2011 = +166,000
Q1-2012 = +212,000

Naturally TalkTalk are hoping that the forthcoming summer 2012 launch of their new YouView (IPTV) based TalkTalkTV television product and further promotions / service improvements will turn their fortunes around, although they’d still face a steep challenge to keep up with Sky. Likewise Sky has its own internet TV solution planned for a similar timeframe (NOW TV).

Jason Blackwell, SPS Director of Strategy Analytics, said:

Many of the company’s new video products, such as “Now TV,” rely on Broadband for delivery. bSkyb is thus banking on the idea that consumers will choose its Broadband service to provide this connectivity“.

On the other hand the summer months, mixed in with student movements, have a habit of reflecting a general slowdown in growth for most providers. Similarly Sky might find it difficult to maintain their current levels given the growing market competition and end of their price freeze later this summer. Q4-2012 could turn out to be quite an interesting quarter.

Meanwhile middle-weight ISPs Orange UK and O2 have not been able to respond, with neither having a superfast broadband or TV service to offer; O2 aren’t expected to get one until 2013.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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