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Ofcom Finds UK Fixed Line Broadband ISP Connections Reach 22.6 Million

Friday, April 25th, 2014 (2:03 pm) - Score 899

The communication regulator’s final Telecoms Market Data Tables update for last year has revealed that the United Kingdom ended 2013 with a total of 22,577,000 fixed line residential and small business broadband ISP connections (excludes corporate lines), which is up by +941,000 (4.3%) in the year as ADSL’s existing market share declines.

Ofcom’s latest update was released quietly (we came across it by accident) and comes after the regulator appeared to skip publishing a full report for the Q3 – 2013 period. Never the less the overall trends haven’t changed much, with non-unbundled based ADSL broadband ISP lines continuing a sharp decline in favour of a switch to unbundled (LLU) providers like Sky Broadband and TalkTalk.

Meanwhile non-LLU ADSL users, specifically those who haven’t switched to an equivalent unbundled ISP, have instead been busy adopting fibre optic based superfast broadband lines (e.g. BT’s FTTC/P services), which over the past 12 months have more than doubled to total 2.36 million. Cable lines (e.g. Virgin Media) have also continued a fairly slow but steady rise.

The fact that BT’s consumer division dominates the uptake of 40-80Mbps capable FTTC lines has also helped to improve their market share by around +1% in the past year (total 30.7%). Ofcom might eventually move to improve competition for superfast broadband products and if that happens then we could see a slowing of BT’s market share, although rivals are also improving their adoption (example).

q4 2013 ofcom uk total broadband connections

Elsewhere the report reveals that there are now a total of 33.4 million fixed phone lines in the UK at the end of Q4 2013, which is +186,000 (0.6%) more than a year previously and +194,000 (0.6%) up on the previous quarter. Interestingly BT’s share fell from 14,504,000 in 2012 to 13,745,000 in Q4 2013 as rival providers picked up the slack. Meanwhile overall fixed telephony services generated £2.1bn in retail revenues during Q4 2013, which is broadly steady from the previous quarterly report but down by 1.5% on 2012’s figure.

On the flipside the number of active mobile subscribers fell by 350,000 (0.4%) to 83.1 million in the year to Q4 2013, while estimated retail revenues generated by mobile telephony services fell by £95m (-2.4%) to £3.9bn in the year; but they have also recently increased by £92m (+2.4%) from the previous quarter (Q3).

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar doofy

    the team of no nowts and couldn’t organise a tea party nevermind broadband etc

  2. Have to say I am rather suspicious of the very high number of lines being suggested in this report.

    I’m guessing that broadband over a phone line is available to say 95% of the population – there are bound to be a proportion of households for whom even a phone line is a luxury, and for others, internet is of no importance. I thought the UK population had reached around 68 million, and while I’ve no figures for businesses, I’m seriously doubting there are 7-8 million of them with actual landlines.

    I’ll perhaps go off and do some checking, and discuss further elsewhere, but I’m thinking there’s perhaps some crossover from the number of phone numbers allocated by businesses and the number OFCOM shows as physical lines. For example, the firm I use has allocated 10 numbers for me (I have a mix of geographic and landline numbers) and can forward calls to actual landlines, or on VoIP).

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