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Telewest's Broadband Growth
By: MarkJ - 23 March, 2005 (9:00 AM)

Five years ago today Telewest became one of the first operators to launch a 512Kbps broadband product in the UK. The group has now released its latest results to the end of 2004, showing an install base of 698,236 broadband users. They also hint at a 10Mbps service later this year:

The fourth quarter of 2004 was our best ever quarter for broadband growth with 91,000 net additions compared to 47,000 net additions in the fourth quarter of 2003. Growth has continued strongly in the first quarter of 2005 and net additions are expected to be at least 80,000. Subscriber growth in the quarter has come mainly at the 256Kb level, with 59% of new acquisitions at this level. Together with increased promotional activity, this has resulted in broadband ARPU of £20.23 down from £22.52 in the fourth quarter of 2003. The main broadband promotional activities have been up-front “free” periods of one or two months and the “Easy Switcher” campaign, which gives a £3 per month discount for a year to both new and existing customers taking 256Kb broadband and a telephony service.

In December 2004, we again increased speeds for our top three broadband tiers at no cost to our customers, as we continue to demonstrate the inherent advantages of our network over our DSL competitors. Our four broadband tiers are now 256Kb, 1Mb, 2Mb and 4Mb. Approximately two-thirds of our broadband subscriber base take a 1Mb or higher speed service.

We believe we are the broadband internet market leader in our addressable areas (those areas of the country where consumers are able to receive our broadband internet services) with around 67% market share.

Broadband continues to be successful in attracting new customers to Telewest. In the fourth quarter of 2004, 47% of broadband installations were for customers who were not existing customers. We have also achieved strong multi-service penetration amongst our broadband customers, with 71% subscribing to the full “triple play” and 93% subscribing to at least one other product as of December 31, 2004.

In addition the operator ended 2004 with 107,220 unmetered dialup (down 20,000 from the previous quarter) and 33,417 metered dialup (down 6,000) customers.

256Kbps subscribers should note that Telewest intends to upgrade them to 512Kbps for free during May 2005.

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