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TalkTalk UK Grows to 4.063m Broadband Users and Preps LLU Expansion

Thursday, May 16th, 2013 (8:20 am) - Score 1,416

Budget internet and phone provider TalkTalk has published its latest Q1-2013 results, which saw them add another +10,000 broadband subscribers (unchanged from Q4-2012) to total 4,063,000 customers. The number of people taking their Superfast Fibre (FTTC) service also grew to 73,000 (+21k and broadly unchanged from Q4-2012).

On top of that the ISPs new YouView (IPTV) based “Plus TV” service bundle has increased its growth by reaching 230,000 subscribers, which is up sharply from the 80k recorded in Q4-2012 and the 29k seen in Q3-2012. The provider has long seen TV services as a vital customer retention tool for the future and the evidence suggests that it might just be working.

Dido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk, said:

This has been a momentous year for TalkTalk, which is now a fundamentally better business than it was three years ago. In the year we have returned our customer base to growth, successfully launched TV and mobile handsets, grown TalkTalk Business, and returned to year-on-year revenue growth in the final quarter.

We have the UK’s fastest growing new TV business and our customers clearly appreciate its comprehensive content and value for money pricing. We will continue to invest in growth and remain confident that having more customers who buy more products and who stay with us longer, puts us firmly on track to achieve our medium term financial targets.”

TalkTalk also notes that its unbundled (LLU) broadband and phone platform can now reach 2,724 telephone exchanges (7 new exchanges were unbundled away from BT in Q1-2013), which means that their service covers approximately 95% of the UK population. It should be noted that 193,000 of the ISPs customers still use their old BT based product (most likely because they live outside of the providers LLU footprint).

The good news is that TalkTalk now plans to unbundle another 300 exchanges in FY14 and see the “potential to extend the programme beyond that as the cost of unbundling exchanges falls and, on-net customer ARPU grows, allowing us to continue to profitably extend our geographic reach“. The ISP added that it would also continue to “expand the capacity of our network, which we expect to grow by 50-100x over the next 3-5 years“.

In the addition TalkTalk had 175,000 mobile customers, more than 10,000 Ethernet circuits (they installed over 1,500 new Ethernet and EFM circuits for business customers in the last quarter) and 1 million subscribers have activated their HomeSafe internet security and parental controls system.

Elsewhere the total revenue for TalkTalk stood at £427m in Q1-2013 (up from £415m in Q4-2012). As a final point TalkTalk had this to say about Ofcom’s new probe into BT’s FTTC pricing, “We remain actively engaged with Ofcom and government to promote greater competition in fibre through a tighter regulatory framework. We are pleased to see Ofcom taking the importance of a level playing field increasingly seriously, with the recent opening of an investigation into BT’s pricing of fibre.”

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