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TalkTalk UK Creep to 4.206m Broadband Users as York FTTP Plan Progresses

Wednesday, Jul 23rd, 2014 (8:48 am) - Score 587

Budget ISP TalkTalk has revealed the latest results for Q2-2014 (calendar), which saw their broadband subscriber base grow by +10,000 in the quarter to total 4,206,000 (i.e. stable growth from +10k added in Q1). Meanwhile their planned roll-out of ultrafast FTTP broadband in the city of York is also making progress.

The ISP also saw their existing Superfast Fibre Broadband (FTTC) service increase its subscribers by +34,000 in the quarter to total 241,000, which represents an improvement from the +30,000 net adds recorded during Q1-2014 (around half of these take their TV service, which seems to be a big draw for fibre). Unsurprisingly TalkTalk notes that Fibre demand is also strongest when it arrives in areas that can currently only access much slower speeds.

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In addition, TalkTalk unbundled (LLU) another 5 telephone exchanges from BT’s network (total 3,032) to take their UK network coverage a smidgen beyond the 95% mark. The number of subscribers that still use BT’s platform instead of TalkTalk’s cheaper LLU network fell again to total 123,000 (-13,000 in the quarter). We note that 97% of their customers are now on an unbundled line (86% for fully unbundled MPF lines).

Elsewhere TalkTalk’s TV (YouView) subscribers passed the one million milestone to reach 1,102,000 and that’s a quarterly increase of +185,000 (the same as added during Q1-2014). On top of that TalkTalk and Sky have also reached a new wholesale agreement to both continue their Sky Sports (including the new Sky Sports 5 from 12th August) and Sky Movies channels and add related catch-up-TV content for them.

The agreement with Sky additionally includes new rights for TalkTalk to offer Sky Sports Box Office, which lets customers watch major live boxing and wrestling events on a pay-per-view basis.

Dido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk, said:

Our strategy for growth continues to deliver according to plan, and we are delighted to report another quarter of base growth and year-on-year revenue progress, including continuing strong momentum in new products such as TV, and data services in TalkTalk Business.

Importantly, we have also continued to reduce churn on our on-net base, with a third consecutive quarter of improvement, as we continued to improve our customers’ experience and drive increased loyalty through new products. We expect revenue growth to again, build through the year and we are on track to deliver our FY15 revenue and margin guidance, and medium term financial targets.”

As for the future, TalkTalk again commented upon their initial investment of £5m in the joint venture with Sky Broadband and CityFibre, which aims to deploy (starting with 20,000 premises in phase one during 2015) a “city-wide” ultrafast 1000Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network in the English city of York (here).

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TalkTalk’s Fibre to the Premise Update

Our plans in York are progressing well. We have completed the initial planning phase for the first area in York and after a successful trial of the micro trenching process we have started recruitment of engineers for a larger trial on the streets of York later this summer. We are on track to begin connecting homes and businesses in 2015

TalkTalk’s boss recently spoke of her aspiration to push the FTTP/H network out to 10 million homes across the United Kingdom, although for now they’re just focusing on York and another couple of cities are expected to follow in the not too distant future.

On the financial front the picture is a bit more mixed, with total quarterly revenue falling from £448m in Q1 2014 to £434m now. But the rate of subscriber gains versus losses (churn) did better by falling to just 1.4% from 1.5% in the previous quarter and 1.6% before that. However it should be said that this time of year has traditionally shown lower churn for the ISP.

UPDATE 10:11am

The ISP has kindly passed on some extra details about data usage on their network. Apparently TalkTalk’s customers used more data than ever before in May 2014, some 44GB (GigaBytes) on average per household and this increases to 103.8GB for their superfast fibre (FTTC) users (note: fibre usage is also up from 80.8GB in Nov 2013).

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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