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UK ISP BT Retail Tops 6.8M Broadband Subscribers and 1.5m Adopt FTTC

Thursday, July 25th, 2013 (8:09 am) - Score 1,708
bt urban tower

BT Group has today released their latest financial results to 30th June 2013 (Q2), which saw the operators retail ISP division increase their fixed line broadband subscribers by +95,000 in the quarter to total 6,799,000 (down from the +136k added in Q1-2013 and +122k in Q4-2012).

Elsewhere BT Group’s fibre optic based superfast broadband services (i.e. up to 80Mbps FTTC and 330Mbps FTTP) have now passed 16 million homes and businesses (up from 15m in Q1-2013) and 1.7 million have subscribed (we make that an uptake of 10.62%), which is up by +265,000 during Q2. BT Retail’s (BTInfinity) share of this is a dominant 1.5 million, although their growth slowed slightly by adding +197k in the quarter (down from +211k in Q1-2013 and 200k in Q4-2012).

In addition BTWholesale are now home to a total of 8,860,000 broadband lines (up by +90k in Q2-2013), which is a slight slowdown from the +117k added last quarter but also includes services delivered to other BT-based ISPs like Zen Internet. BT also noted that there are a total of 8,958,000 unbundled (LLU) lines in the market (up by +99k and that’s slower than the +167k added in Q1), which tends to be used by providers like TalkTalk and Sky Broadband.

Ian Livingston, BT Group’s Outgoing CEO, said:

BT continues to make good progress, delivering another quarter of solid growth in underlying profit before tax. This is despite the impact of regulation and the significant investments we are making for the future.

It is early days but we are very pleased with the strong start in BT Sport. More than half a million households have now ordered BT Sport and that’s before the channels have even launched.

Our consumer line loss is at its lowest level in five years and we took a 50% share of the broadband market net additions. Our SME business grew revenues by 1%, the best performance in more than four years, and our BT Global Services order intake was up almost 50%.

Fibre remains at the heart of our plans and take-up is strong. Our fibre network now passes more than 16 million premises with more than 1.7 million connected.

I am immensely proud to have led BT over the last five years. The foundations are in place for an exciting future and I’m confident that BT will make even more progress under Gavin’s leadership and our talented team.”

Interestingly BT Retail’s broadband based BTVision and YouView (IPTV) TV service saw a sharp decline in growth by adding only +23,000 new customers in the quarter to total +833,000, which is down from +40k in Q1-2013. This was unusual given the May 2013 announcement of their free BTSport with broadband offer (here), although the service itself doesn’t launch until next month.

However BT admitted that it was still early days and noted that more than 500,000 households have now ordered BTSport, although “as expected” most of these are existing customers who have re-contracted their broadband service. BT expects the proportion of new customers to increase after they launch the channels on 1st August.

Overall BT Group’s consumer revenue reached £4,449m in the quarter (down from £4,785m in Q1-2013) and their reported operating profits topped £659m. It’s worth pointing out that the Q2 results have a history of being lower, which can often be connected to students leaving temporary accommodation and returning home for the summer.

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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39 Responses
  1. Avatar Credit Reports

    I’m actually surprised at BT’s figures, i think their company is a rip off wouldn’t go back with them even if you paid me.

  2. Avatar Slow Somerset

    Expect them to make even more profit as they get handed all the BDUK Money, with not much to show for it so far.

    • Avatar fastman

      i assume you in touch with Connecting Devon and somerset to A confirm you are in the intervention area and B you are covered under it — this is your local BDUK project

  3. Avatar Ignitionnet

    ‘BTWholesale’s fibre optic based superfast broadband services’

    Openreach, surely? 🙂

  4. Avatar Kyle

    I’d be interested in churn stats for FTTC given that we’ve now seen a full minimum contract (18 months)…

  5. Avatar JNeuhoff

    That must be surely good news for FibreFred here, 1.5M FTTC users 🙂

    I wonder how many are actually using genuine fibre broadband? Probably only a very small fraction.

    • Avatar Mark

      WOW still not even 25% of BT’s entire broadband user base bother to take FTTC.

      Even more tragic is of the 16 Million homes and businesses passed only just over 10.5% of them have signed up to it.

      What is it a certain individual always repeats over like a scratched record about a FTTH solution being a waste of money, too expensive and would lack demand?

      Does not look like FTTC is much better based on BT’s own figures.

      What a waste of money FTTC is. Only small numbers want or need it.

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      Pretty early days yet. Uptake is exceeding expectations.

      A big issue is that much of the footprint has cable and many of the areas that have been done had decent ADSL anyway as they were the ones closer to the exchange hence cheaper to build.

      If you were expecting FTTC to instantly sell to 50% of the entire userbase you are very optimistic, BT’s business models were based around 20% uptake over 10-12 years but that’s very pessimistic. Best research and examples from similar rollouts suggests 40-50% uptake over the next few years.

    • Avatar Mark

      “Pretty early days yet. Uptake is exceeding expectations.”

      I thought FTTC started rolling out around the end of 2009 which would put it at nearly 4 years ago, i personally would not call that early days.

      “If you were expecting FTTC to instantly sell to 50% of the entire userbase you are very optimistic, BT’s business models were based around 20% uptake over 10-12 years but that’s very pessimistic.”

      and based on that they spent billions and got given millions more in tax payer cash? Wow what a waste of money to provide a product to such a small minority

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      BT appear to disagree as far as the 2.5 billion goes. It had to be spent sooner or later, exchange-based DSL won’t cut it.

      Do remember that Sky and Talk Talk have only relatively recently started really selling the fibre services.

      Yes FTTC started deployment in 2009. How many homes could get it in 2009 / 2010 though?

      So what should Openreach have done instead if FTTC was such a waste of money? Do nothing? Return the money to shareholders via buybacks or dividends? Virtually all telcos are putting fibre into the loop, and they aren’t spending this money for their health. Describing it as a waste puts you in a group on one side with a very few analysts who think that any investment is a waste against pretty much everyone else connected with telecomms.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Ignitionnet, he’s not an analyst he’s a troll and you are feeding him

    • Avatar Mark

      @ignitionet
      “BT appear to disagree as far as the 2.5 billion goes. It had to be spent sooner or later, exchange-based DSL won’t cut it.”

      Agreed

      “Yes FTTC started deployment in 2009. How many homes could get it in 2009 / 2010 though?”

      No idea, in fact figures now as to which exchanges are enabled even vary depending on the source you look at, various BT website give conflicting info.

      “So what should Openreach have done instead if FTTC was such a waste of money? Do nothing? Return the money to shareholders via buybacks or dividends? Virtually all telcos are putting fibre into the loop, and they aren’t spending this money for their health. Describing it as a waste puts you in a group on one side with a very few analysts who think that any investment is a waste against pretty much everyone else connected with telecomms.”

      At the moment it is a waste, anything where you spend billions on a product that aims to target most of the country yet such a small percent are interested in, is a waste of cash.

      Personally i think the rollout should had been more targeted in its approach rather than just enable up what ever areas are the most convenient or cost effective first.

      @Fibrefred

      You still need to get a life and a job!

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Which websites give conflicting info?

    • Avatar Mark

      As stated various BT ones.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Which ones?

    • Avatar Mark

      This for starters…
      http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/the-big-build/the-numbers-game.aspx

      specifically…
      “We’re currently upgrading 2,400-3,000 cabinets a quarter and connecting between 100,000 and 150,000 premises with fibre every week.”

      The KEY WORD IN THAT BEING “CONNECTING” NOT PASSING OR AVAILABLE TO.

  6. Avatar Slow Somerset

    If they went to the areas that have slow Broadband and I mean the rural areas and Villages then watch the take up.

  7. Avatar JNeuhoff

    Reported operating profits topped £659m for Q1-2013. If that’s true, why is BT receiving hundreds of Millions Pounds of public funding via e.g. the BDUK?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      lol you really hate BT don’t you 🙂

      Why? Isn’t it obvious, without that BT would not be going into those BDUK areas as they are not commercially viable. So.. no funding no new service. BT could have got £2billion in profit that quarter and it wouldn’t have changed anything

      You have a strange sense of logic.

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      @FibreFred: Many businesses use at least some of their profits to do proper longterm investments which can stretch over more than just a few years. No need here to give BT public money.

      But I guess you are already on an affordable VDSL or fibre service, and are probably a BT spokesman, too 🙂

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Or another way to look at it is that BT are a charity, although I can’t see any mention of them being registered as one.

      Hopefully you are not looking to start up a business!

      You don’t take profits from one area and use them (or a better term would be flush them) in an area where you would not go in the first place as it isn’t commercial viable. Like I say they aren’t a charity, it would be lost money no matter how you look at it and could be better spent elsewhere.

      Just because you have a profit you don’t give it away to an area of low returns. Like I say.. strange sense of logic, you wouldn’t be in business long with ideas like that.

      Alan sugar you aint 😉

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Profits on what turnover?

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      @FibreFred: BT certainly is treated like a poor charity case, receiving hundreds of Million Pounds from public fundings. 🙂

      As I said, it’s easy for you to be a BT spokesman, sitting a fibre connection …

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Would you be happy if Fuji were given public money?

    • Avatar Mark

      NO he like many just thinks its a waste of cash, company except to you is irrelevant.

  8. Avatar Mark

    BT have been using profits for their FTTC deployment, look at Q4 results last year.

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      That’s the way it should be, and not with taxpayer’s money. BT is a private company, not a charity in need of donations!

    • Avatar Mark

      They act like a charity case though, a bit like their die hard supporter 😉

  9. Avatar FibreFred

    JNeuhoff , So you would rather that those now included in the BDUK rollout were left with no upgrade path? No FTTC? Because that is what would have happened. I’m not sure why you don’t understand the term “not commercially viable”

    What about Fujitsu they bid (for a while) would it have been ok to give them taxpayers money? Fujitsu are a big company, must bigger than BT

    • Avatar Mark

      “What about Fujitsu they bid (for a while) would it have been ok to give them taxpayers money? Fujitsu are a big company, must bigger than BT”

      As im sure you have been lied to maybe once in your life… Size is not important its what you do with it what counts.

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      @FibreFred: You are repeatedly acting like a BT spokesmen for the copper VDSL! BT is not a charity, it is a private commercial company. However, the fibre access network infrastructure, as is the case with gas and electricity, is vital for the whole country. If BT can’t rollout proper fibre telecom services within a given amount of time in ceretain areas, give the money as a longterm low interest loan to other providers, and don’t allow BT to compete in those areas with their own fibre for a long time. This will ensure protection of investment by those other providers. The whole BDUK process has been a farce.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      No answer to the question then, just more rambling 🙂

    • Avatar Mark

      Rambling…. I wish you would go rambling and not come back.

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