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ISP BT Tops 6.7 Million UK Broadband Subscribers as 1.3m Users Take FTTC

Friday, May 10th, 2013 (8:06 am) - Score 1,908

Telecoms giant BT has today posted their latest financial results to 31st March 2013 (Q1-2013), which revealed that the operators retail ISP division had increased its fixed line broadband subscribers by +136,000 in the quarter to total 6,704,000 (up from the +122k added in Q4-2012 and +88k in Q3-2012).

Elsewhere BT Retail’s share of the market for superfast broadband services (BTInfinity), which are predominantly delivered via ‘up to’ 80Mbps FTTC technology and a tiny number on 330Mbps capable FTTP, grew by +211,000 customers in Q1-2013 to reach a total of around 1.3 Million (up from the +200k added in Q4-2012 and +160,000 in Q3-2012).

It should be noted that BTWholesale’s overall FTTC/P connections total, which includes services delivered via other ISPs (e.g. Sky Broadband, TalkTalk and Zen Internet etc.), is now more than 1.5 Million.

The FTTC service itself currently passes 15 million premises in the UK (around 50% UK coverage) and should reach 66% coverage by spring 2014 (possibly 90% by 2017 with full BDUK state aid support). “We believe that, together with government support and subject to an acceptable investment environment, we can pass more than 90% of premises with our network in the next three to four years,” said BT’s statement.

Ian Livingston, BT Group’s CEO, said:

We are doing what we said we would do. In an environment where it is easier to focus only on the short-term, we are investing in our future and delivering growth in profits and dividends. We are driving fibre across the UK, launching high quality sports channels, investing in the high-growth regions of the world and will use our wi-fi capabilities and 4G spectrum to make sure our customers will be the best connected. We have created around 3,000 new jobs [mostly telecoms engineers] in the UK over the last year to support these investments.

Our focus on improving efficiency across the business will allow us to continue to deliver strong financial results whilst making these investments. Our good performance this year is reflected in our dividend which is up 14% for the year. We have a lot more to do but we are now a lot better positioned to do it.”

In addition BT Retail’s broadband based BTVision (IPTV) TV service also grew by +40,000 customers in the quarter to reach a total of 810,000, which is the first improvement in growth for quite a while (BTVision has add +21k each quarter since Q2-2012).

On top of that the FREE BTSport (here) promotion, new Hub4 router and cheaper broadband bundles are widely expected to deliver an even more significant improvement over the coming months. BT is also investing in a new generation of 4G (2.6GHz) based Mobile Broadband products to provide their business and consumer customers with an enhanced range of services (details not yet known).

Meanwhile BTWholesale notes that it’s now home to a total of 8,770,000 broadband connections (includes services delivered to other BT-based ISPs), which is an increase of +117k in Q1-2013 (up from +62k in Q4-2012). Separately BTOpenreach reports that an additional 8,859,000 fixed line connections belong to unbundled (LLU) providers, which is a quarterly increase of +167k (down from the +182k added in Q4-2012).

Finally BT Group’s consumer revenue reached £4,785m in the quarter (up from £4,510m in Q4-2012) and reported profits before tax hit £687m (up from £675m in Q4-2012).

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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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