Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

UK ISP TalkTalk Slows Broadband Bleed and Sees Strong “Fibre” Take-up

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 (8:05 am) - Score 742
TalkTalk Logo 2017

Internet provider TalkTalk has today published their latest full year results to 31st March 2017, which saw them bleed fewer on-net broadband subscribers (-20k in H2 vs -29k in H1) in the period to total 3,947,000 and 25% of those take their FTTC based “fibre broadband“.

Despite suffering a rise in broadband complaints during the latter stages of 2016 (here), TalkTalk could otherwise be said to have had a good start to 2017. For example, Ofcom’s recent move to force BT into cutting the wholesale cost of their 40Mbps FTTC service to rival ISPs will benefit them (here) and so might the regulator’s agreement to weaken BT’s hold over the market through legal separation of Openreach (here).

Meanwhile the ISP has also been busy revamping their mobile content platform (here) and they’ve decided to put their weight behind Ofcom’s new system of automatic compensation for protracted losses of broadband service, while also shunning a weaker voluntary proposal that had been put forward by rivals BT, Sky Broadband and Virgin Media (here). Lest we forget that long-time CEO Dido Harding has been replaced by Tristia Harrison (here).

Despite those positive developments the provider has struggled to grow their broadband base, which is a hangover from the disastrous October 2015 cyber-attack that so badly damaged their reputation. The operator’s Chairman, Sir Charles Dunstone, is now conducting a strategic shake-up and has had to significantly reset dividend payouts to shareholders in order to tackle the company’s debt pile (£782m net debt).

Charles Dunstone, Executive Chairman of TalkTalk, said:

“I’m enjoying having a more ‘hands on role’ at TalkTalk and I’m very excited about the progress we have already made and the prospects for the business. The promotion of Tristia Harrison and Charles Bligh to their new positions has created a clear and simpler operating structure and I can already see the difference they are making. My focus for the company is growth, cash generation and profit in that order.

We will be smart about how we invest, focusing on our fixed network, avoiding other capital intensive distractions. In light of these new priorities, we have also decided to reset the dividend as we look to deliver growth and strong sustainable shareholder returns over the long term.”

Elsewhere it’s noted that 35% of their broadband base take TV and 25% also adopted one of their Mobile plans (total of 913,000 SIM and handset contracts), although the latter is rather easy to achieve given the ISP’s free Mobile SIM offer.

Despite some declines elsewhere, the story for TalkTalk’s “fibre broadband” base (mostly FTTC and a tiny bit of York FTTP) is more positive. Overall demand for their faster fibre services remains strong, with nearly 30% of new customers choosing to take fibre and within that, more than twice as many customers as a year ago choosing their 76Mbps product. As a result, they added +73,000 new fibre customers during the last quarter (total base of 927,000).

We also got a small update on their FTTP deployment in York but nothing seems to have changed since the last report.

York FTTP Progress

We have made excellent progress with our Fibre-To-The-Premise (FTTP) trial in York.

The initial roll out to over 14,000 homes, was completed in March 2017, with penetration of serviceable homes at c27% (c2,500 of whom are TalkTalk customers). Build costs were under our £500 per home target, with takeup and customer satisfaction also ahead of targets.

Following the success of this first phase, work has now begun on the planning work to extend the network to a further 40,000 premises across the rest of York (details).

On the financial front TalkTalk reported total headline revenue of £1,783m for Full Year 2017 (down from £1,838m last year), although their profit after tax saw a healthy increase to £100m over the same period from £79m in 2016. However these positives are countered by the rise of net debt from £679m last year to £782m now and hence the dividend reset.

Finally, there’s a useful mention of the operators future network investment plans and we’ll quote that below.

4. Network investment

Continuing investment in the network over the next two years (within our 6%-7% capex/revenue commitment) will deliver a fully upgraded access layer (switches and backhaul) with over 1,000 exchanges equipped with 10Gig backhaul circuits, to support growing FTTC penetration and data usage.

We also plan to scale dark fibre deployment across the entire network, helped by a more favourable regulatory pricing environment. This will allow us to support the expected increase in capacity utilisation at reduced unit costs, and significantly mitigate future network operating costs that otherwise, would grow substantially as we expand our Ethernet, FTTC & FTTP base.

Following this network investment programme, we expect the entire data network to be at the latest switching and network technology. It will be simplified, more resilient, using the latest Tier 1 networking technologies (both software and hardware), and will futureproof the network for the expected needs of consumers and businesses.

The market open has seen shares in TalkTalk take a sharp dive (see below).



Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
0 Responses

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Gift Card
  • Post Office £20.90 (*37.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £21.95
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2625)
  2. FTTP (2421)
  3. FTTC (1715)
  4. Building Digital UK (1654)
  5. Politics (1520)
  6. Openreach (1493)
  7. Business (1306)
  8. FTTH (1206)
  9. Statistics (1144)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1108)
  11. Fibre Optic (1010)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (964)
  13. 4G (957)
  14. Wireless Internet (956)
  15. Virgin Media (916)
  16. EE (634)
  17. Sky Broadband (627)
  18. TalkTalk (610)
  19. Vodafone (581)
  20. 3G (433)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact