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Home and Small Business UK Broadband Connections Hit 24.17 Million

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 (12:53 pm) - Score 586

Ofcom has published their latest Telecoms Market Data update, which reports that the United Kingdom is now home to a total of 24.17 million fixed line residential and small business broadband ISP connections (excludes corporate lines) in Q2 2015 (up by +167K since Q1, but down from the +277K added in Q4 2014).

As usual the latest data reflects a continuing movement of broadband subscribers away from the older style copper line ADSL / ADSL2+ (up to 8-20Mbps) services, with consumers slowly moving on to the faster “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P/x) services on BTOpenreach’s network and cable connections via Virgin Media.

Traditionally the second quarter is a slower month for broadband additions due to the negative impact of students cancelling their contracts before returning home for the summer, although the situation usually improves again in Q3 and Q4.

ofcom uk telecoms market q2 2015

It’s worth pointing out that BT’s own consumer (retail) division continues to see its market share improve, which is largely because they tend to extract the most benefit from the roll-out of faster FTTC/P services. Part of that comes via the indirect advertising boost that stems from BT’s name being so closely associated with the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme.

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 33.6 million (up from 33.3m in Q1 2015) and this also represents an increase of 209,000 (0.6%) compared to a year previously.

The above figure reflects a total of 25.79m residential lines (up from 25.66m in Q1) and 7.79m business lines (down from 7.87m in Q1), which shows that it’s actually the domestic market that’s pulling in new lines. Some had predicted that the growth of mobile might foster a downward trend on the domestic fixed line phone market, but we’re still seeing growth.

Elsewhere it’s noted that the total fixed telephony voice retail revenues for Q2 2015 have remained broadly flat at around £2.1bn, although this does represent a slight fall of £7m (0.3%) compared to Q2 last year.

By comparison Mobile phone services generated £3.8bn in retail revenues for Q2 2015, which is up from £3.73bn in Q1. Overall there were 84.7 million active mobile subscribers in Q2 2015, which is up by 2.5 million (3.1%) on one year ago. However the previous Q1 2015 report noted a total of 85 million active mobile subscribers.

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