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Ofcom Finds UK Fixed Line Broadband ISP Connections Reach 22.6 Million

Friday, Apr 25th, 2014 (2:03 pm) - Score 906

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).


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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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