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Ofcom Reports UK Fixed Line Broadband ISP Connections Rise to 21.9 Million

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 (11:48 am) - Score 1,077

The telecoms regulator has today published its latest Telecoms Market Data Tables Q1-2013 update and revealed that the United Kingdom is now home to 21,890,000 fixed line broadband ISP connections (excludes corporate lines), which is up by +210,000 in the quarter (lower than the +356,000 added in Q4-2012).

As usual the non-unbundled (LLU) ISPs (i.e. BT-based internet providers) continued their decline as customers switched to unbundled providers like Sky Broadband and TalkTalk. Consumers taking cable services (e.g. Virgin Media) also grew and those adopting hybrid-fibre and full fibre optic (FTTC/P/H etc.) services saw strong gains.

BT’s own consumer division appears to have been the biggest winner here and picked up most of the dominant hybrid fibre (FTTC) subscribers, which helped to push its share of the retail broadband market up slightly from 29.6% at the end of 2012 to 29.8% in Q1-2013.

q1 2013 ofcom uk total broadband connections

Ofcom also reported that there are now a total of 33.1 million fixed phone lines in the United Kingdom, which is down by -82,000 (-0.2%) during the latest quarter and -177,000 (0.5%) less than a year ago. Overall fixed telephony services generated £2.1bn in retail revenues during Q1 2013, which is £61m (2.8%) less than in Q1 2012.

It’s interesting to note that the number of mobile phone subscribers has fallen by 0.8% (702,000) to total 84.2 million in Q1 2013, though this still remains 1.7% higher than a year ago. Similarly the total number of dedicated Mobile Broadband subscribers (i.e. those using a USB Modem/Dongle or similar device) has fallen again from 4.99 million in Q4-2012 to 4.90 million in Q1-2013.

In fairness we shouldn’t be surprised at the fall in dedicated Mobile Broadband subscribers because more and more consumers are learning to make use of Tethering via their Smartphone’s data plan, which makes the need for a dedicate mobile data link somewhat less essential. But it should be said that the dedicated platforms can often still offer better performance and service flexibility.

After posting this update we will also be adding the new stats into our Broadband Technology page and its interactive UK graphs.

Telecoms Market Data Tables Q1 2013 (PDF)
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/cmr/telecoms/Q1-2013.pdf

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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