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Ofcom – UK Fixed Line Broadband ISP Connections Hit 22.8 Million

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 (12:20 pm) - Score 937
ofcom uk telecoms regulator

The communication regulator’s latest Telecoms Market Data Tables update for Q1-2014 has revealed that the United Kingdom is now home to a total of 22,808,000 fixed line residential and small business broadband ISP connections (excluding corporate lines), which is up by +1% on the previous quarter. Meanwhile more fixed phone line customers are going mobile.

The overall trends in the market are also changing, particularly with respect to how non-unbundled ADSL/ADSL2+ based broadband ISP lines are continuing their steady decline (-227k in Q1). In previous quarters most of this fall has been scooped up by unbundled ADSL2+ (LLU) providers (e.g. Sky Broadband and TalkTalk), although this time around those ISPs only managed to steal +60k and the rest have predominantly migrated to fibre optic based (FTTC/P etc.) connections and a few to Virgin Media’s cable.

q1 2014 ofcom uk total broadband connections

As expected the ISP that seems to benefit the most from this move is the consumer division of BT, which saw their market share jump from 30.7% in Q4-2013 to 31.4% in Q1-2014 and their continued growth is similarly reflected in the operators most recent financial report (here). Being so loudly associated with the national Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme clearly has its benefits.

But it’s important to note how Sky Broadband and TalkTalk’s own FTTC services have also played a part (here and here) and continue to grow, all of which adds to that ‘Others (inc. FTTx)’ total of 2,719,000 connections. We fully expect this trend to continue over the coming years and it will probably accelerate as coverage expands and more users move to superfast broadband services.

Elsewhere the report reveals that there are now a total of 32.99 million fixed phone lines in the UK, which is down by -326k in the quarter. In particular BT’s share fell most sharply of all from 13.745m in Q4-2013 to 13.344m in Q1-2014, while Virgin Media held fairly steady and rival operators picked up just +85k’s worth of BT’s loss. On top of that, UK fixed voice services generated £2.1bn in revenue in Q1 2014, which is broadly unchanged from the previous quarter.

So where have all those missing fixed phone line users gone? It’s difficult to say but it certainly seems as if some have given up on expensive fixed phone line rental because the number of active mobile subscribers increased by +120k (0.2%) to 83.2 million compared with the previous quarter, which is interesting since last year saw a fall in mobile users. At the same time the estimated retail revenues generated by mobile telephony services fell by £176m (4.4%) to £3.8bn in the year to Q1 2014.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar DTMark

    “Elsewhere the report reveals that there are now a total of 32.99 million fixed phone lines in the UK, which is down by -326k in the quarter.”

    Is this really accurate? 4G in particular was always going to impact fixed-line and operators have been doing their best to lose customers who don’t want broadband by loading price increases onto line rental. Just about everybody has a mobile phone now, fixed-line calls are so last-decade.

    That, and for people wanting broadband, VDSL is perhaps far too little, way too late.

    Annualised, this would represent the loss of 1.3 million fixed lines per year.

  2. Avatar four_eyes

    Ofcom the company that’s as much use as a chocolate fireguard a shambles of a company

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