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ISP O2 UK Suffers Sharp Decline to 602000 Broadband Subscribers

Thursday, July 26th, 2012 (11:00 am) - Score 1,921

Mobile operator and ISP O2 UK (BE Broadband) has released its latest results to 30th June (Q2), which revealed that their fixed line broadband subscriber base saw a shock fall to total 602,000 (-15,800 in the quarter). That’s a nosedive from the -2,500 lost in Q1-2012 and the -5,000 lost during Q4-2011.

The situation could perhaps be said to reflect a combination of factors, such as the well reported quality issues that occurred during the Spring months (here), price hikes, a delayed roll-out of superfast broadband services to 2013 (here) and other seasonal factors (e.g. most ISPs see a fall in growth at this time of year as students move out of their accommodation).

Telefonica Statement (O2 UK)

In the first half of 2012, Telefónica UK regained commercial traction, with improving momentum in the second quarter despite a highly competitive market. Mobile service revenue evolution stabilised for a second consecutive quarter, on the back of contract customer base growth and the strong performance of data revenue. Telefónica UK’s total access base stood at 23.3 million at the end of June 2012 (+2% year-on-year), primarily driven by the strong growth in the contract mobile base and positive fixed telephony growth.

Revenues reached 3,437 million euros in the first half (-5.7% year-on-year), with a modest sequential improvement in the second quarter (-5.3% year-on-year vs. -6.0% in the first quarter), as the result of improving commercial momentum in the market place. In the first half of the year, OIBDA reached 736 million euros (-26.8% year-on-year), with improved margins quarter-on-quarter (23.4% in the second quarter vs. 19.4% in the first quarter), leading to a 21.4% margin in the first half of the year. CapEx to June 2012 reached 375 million euros (+9.5% year-on-year).

Today’s dire results suggest that O2 has effectively wiped out its last two years worth of customer gains and should serve as a reminder of how brutal competition in the wider fixed line ISP market can be, especially for those that fail to keep pace.

As it stands O2’s packages aren’t as attractive as they once were and it hasn’t been advertising them as aggressively as its competition. Customer loyalty will only get you so far.

Leave a Comment
24 Responses
  1. Anoyed tax payer says:

    I think O2 should pull their fingers out and sort out fibre broadband, otherwise they are going to shrink into an oblivion as more and more people switch to fibre products

  2. Sheffield Owl says:

    It will be +1 when I switch over next week

    1. Sheffield Owl says:

      Just to add to my post above,when I asked for a MAC code as soon as they asked why I was leaving and I mentioned fibre,they just threw the towel in.

  3. Deduction says:

    No fibre available on O2 or BE broadband

    Monthly Caps on O2 ADSL/2+ products

    Useless support and endless issues every month on BE (something is always broken or not working as it should).

    No shocker everyone is running from them.

  4. bob says:

    The difficulty with Fibre is that you are pretty much only reselling the BT product

    1. Deduction says:

      Sky have managed to do a real unlimited FTTC product at a decent price. Likewise from other non-LLUs in the market there is the odd (albeit not unlimited) product at reasonable prices. Theres no excuse for a large player in the market now not to have a FTTC product as a choice.

      Combine that with a companys product range that already has caps and their sibling having numerous issues this year and its no reason people are running miles from O2/BE

  5. Alloneword says:

    Not surprised in the least when i’m on an old unlimted deal and get phone calls telling me to stop downloading, and asking how i can download so much and what i’m downloading, then after holding me to ransom, no offer of compo, i’ll be walking when my contract expired in 3 months even if i have to give my money to sky (poke myself in the eye with blunt stick) not to mention taking my mobiles with me as well.
    Your get what you deserve O2


    1. Bob2002 says:

      What kind of data transfer figures are we talking about(in case anyone else is thinking of joining them)?

  6. cyclope says:

    Thing is though unless you are lucky enough to have a good short D ‘side copper pair, then the FTTC isn’t going to be a bed of roses as BT and any BT wholesale products available via some of the smaller ISP’s is going to be subject to BT’s antiquated DLM and profiling system,which at the moment the ISP has no or very little control over, the same would apply to fastpath, in all cases customers will most likely start off on fastpath, but any interference or too many restarts of the modem, and that could soon change along with the sync speed ,
    Sky would be quite similar in that it also uses DLM and doesn’t support fastpath, (ADSL LLU) not sure about TT but they throttle and snoop on you ,

    1. dragoneast says:

      Not sure I agree from my experience. I’m 0.6m or so from cab, and with attn. of 20dB and a known crappy underground line with repair joints at virtually every dwelling, I still manage a solid 38.6Mbps down and 5-6Mbps upload (and that’s measured both on regular speedtests and daily downloads consistently over several months and at all times of the day). For me at least, a bed of roses compared to ADSL2+’s hugely variable 3 Mbps or lower.

    2. Deduction says:

      The question there is where are all these joins. I highly doubt there are many joins in only a 0.6m run (even if you meant KM) Id guess most joins on your copper run are between the cab and exchange rather than cab and home (which would explain the pooor ADSL speed). Also would explain why that wouldnt factor into how good your FTTC is as the copper between exchange and cab is eliminated.

  7. dragoneast says:

    Surprising as it is I meant just over half a mile to the cab, and having lived here for over 25 years I’ve seen BT’s contractors digging outside virtually every house over that time on the route back to the cab and BT (now Openreach division) working on the phone cable in the resulting holes, and the fault history has been the subject of a lot of resident comment locally. The route back to the exchange is then through open countryside not built up areas.

    1. Deduction says:

      Are the cables to your home overhead or underground?

  8. Alloneword says:

    Bob2002 These are the stats I got from there Fair Use Policy (FUP) Team the other day.

    10-2010 = 0.141073329
    10-2011 = 0.106745637
    11-2010 = 183.5653036
    11-2011 = 0
    1-2011 = 323.4512449
    1-2012 = 193.9586184
    12-2010 = 573.6235716
    12-2011 = 368.2825299
    2-2011 = 156.2509732
    2-2012 = 149.6384863
    3-2011 = 218.7916569
    3-2012 = 164.0097776
    4-2011 = 315.7045739
    4-2012 = 324.7866852
    5-2011 = 356.1890268
    5-2012 = 4.861095395
    6-2011 = 251.7775717
    7-2011 = 564.1511073
    8-2011 = 419.8517351
    9-2011 = 47.09399045

    Now each person has to decide if that is alot or not but when i tried to ask them what GB level i should go for they refused to give me an answer so i will never know if i’m downloading until i get another strike, how can that be? I have asked if they can give me an online counter so i can keep an eye on GB useage but again they refuse i did contact Mark Jackson (Editor-In-Chief) here but nothing came of it, my advise to anyone on O2 is be careful, I will leave once i have a few more cards stacked in my favour but sorry to say that will be a few months away.
    There are a couple of threads about this issue on the following links:



    1. Deduction says:

      Write to them Alloneword if you are a VERY OLD Real Unlimited customer, and inform them in that case they are breaking ASA rules (Newer customers they have a right to do this to though because though packages are not unlimited)… http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2011/09/29/asa-uk-publishes-new-broadband-isp-speed-and-unlimited-use-advertising-rules.html

  9. Alloneword says:

    The problem is they have a FUP and this is what they are using they say i’m causing problems at my local exchange, i know someone who is doing over a TB every month and never had a problem so i’m guessing they just want me out, i have no way of proving how or if i am causing a problem at the exchange.

    I’m wondering if your link even applies to O2 and me as they are no longer advertising this product, I have asked for a limit in GB terms but nothing is ever forthcoming very unhappy with O2 to be honest, seem like a bunch on conmen right now.


    1. Deduction says:

      Of course it applies if you are not getting what was advertised. ANY LIMITS now have to be clearly explained and they have failed to do this for you.

  10. Alloneword says:

    OK I have wrote to Mark Jackson here hoping he can provide a decent addy for head of o2 broadband and i’ll write to him or her and see where i go from there could be intresting if they do have to firm up what they mean in my case because right now i’m almost scared to use it and won’t even stream HD stuff anymore of SD.


  11. Alloneword says:

    OK spoke to Mark today and he’s unable to help with addy details but i’ll be speaking ASA in next few days, if anything comes of this and i can pin them down then i’ll let Mark know and maybe it will hit the site in some way but i’ll just be happy knowing where i stand on this issue.


    1. nredwood says:

      12.1 If you have a complaint about our Services you may callus using the number on your bill. For full details of our complaints process, please see our ‘Complaints Code’ on http://www.o2.co.uk and select ‘contact us’ If you’re still unhappy, you can write for an impartial review to: Complaint Review Service, PO Box 116, Leeds, LS11 5DS. Please include your mobile phone number and broadband account reference in any correspondence. If we don’t resolve your complaint within 8 weeks, or if we reach a deadlock, you may contact the ombudsman. You can contact Ombudsman Services: Communications at http://www.os-communications.org.uk

  12. Alloneword says:

    Well i have gone through to the ASA and they say there is nothing they can do as the product is no longer being sold, and would only ask them to amend there adverts but given they don’t advertise this anymore it’s out of there hands they did suggest C.A.B. but can’t be bothered with that route, i am looking at Ombudsman Services now.

  13. Alloneword says:

    Been through to Ombudsman Services and they were as much use as a chocolate teapot, they say despite i’m on old tariff the website says now FUP is 20GB and that is what i come under so according to Ombudsman Services people on old tariff only have a 20GB limit which i think we can all agree is BS, well now in contact with Ofcom who have given me some great leads which i don’t want to say just now but it’s not over till the fat lady sings and the Mrs ain’t singing yet.


  14. Deduction says:

    You should be complaining to the independent body O2 are a member of, normally either the ISPA od CISAS, should be mentioned on O2s website somewhere. Though to be honest O2 and BE are rubbish anyway so its probably just easier to leave them like many are doing.

  15. Happy ex O2 Customer says:

    I would not be surprised if O2 to pull out of the ISP market is it can only get worse for them. I had packet loss issues to certain IP address with O2 and friend had same issues on BE at a different exchange with different IP’s.
    I suspect most users would not know about this but just refresh web page or thing the internet is being slow.

    It took 2 months to get through to 3rd line support followed by a month of daily phone calls. Eventually they agreed something was wrong with the network but they didn’t know what. I would not trust most of the 3rd line support guys to wire in my wifi router – one didn’t know what a ‘ping’ was.

    Eventually they agreed to cancel the contract without the early termination fee.
    They do not have the expertise to run an ISP. The original BE guys have moved on as will most of their customers.

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