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UK Home and Small Business Broadband Connections Top 24 Million

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 (2:08 pm) - Score 1,136

Ofcom’s latest Telecoms Market Data update has revealed that the United Kingdom achieved a milestone of 24 million fixed line residential and small business broadband ISP connections (excluding corporate lines) in Q1 2015 (up by +277K since Q4 2014), which is 967,000 (4.2%) more than a year ago.

Overall the same general movements, which have existed for the past few quarters, continue to hold sway. In particular many consumers on older style ADSL or ADSL2+ (up to 20Mbps) based copper broadband connections have been migrating to faster “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P/x) services, with BT’s Consumer division continuing to pick up the lion’s share.

Similarly Virgin Media’s cable network has also maintained its gradual rise and we expect to see that increase more rapidly now that the operator is expanding out to another 4 million premises, which should improve their UK coverage from around 45% to 60%+ by 2020 (here).

ofcom uk telecoms market q1 2015

The quarterly update also reveals that the total number of fixed phone / exchanges lines, which includes traditional telephone (PSTN) and ISDN channels, has improved again to 33.3 million (up from 33.2m at the end of 2014); this represents an increase of 96,000 (0.3%) compared to a year previously.

It’s worth pointing out that the number of fixed phone / exchanges lines actually continued to decline for business services (7.68m in Q1 2015 vs 7.78m in Q4 2014), although residential lines improved from 25.550m in Q4 2014 to 25.618m in Q1 2015 and hence the overall growth is fairly flat.

Elsewhere it’s noted that the total fixed telephony voice retail revenues were £2.1bn in Q1 2015, which is just a £10m (+0.5%) increase compared to the previous quarter and a £41m (-1.9%) fall compared to Q1 2014.

By comparison Mobile phone services generated £3.73bn in retail revenues in Q1 2015, which is a £20m (-0.5%) decrease compared to Q1 2014 and an even sharper £132m (-3.4%) fall compared to the previous quarter (i.e. consumers increasingly prefer online communications and VoIP to mobile calling). Overall there were 85.0 million active mobile subscribers in Q1 2015, which is up by 2.9 million (3.6%) on one year ago.

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