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BT Retail UK Tops 5.34m Broadband ISP Customers and Details FTTC Customers

Posted: 11th Nov, 2010 By: MarkJ
bt retail ukNational telecoms operator BT has released its latest financial results to 30th September 2010 (Q3), which reveals that its retail broadband ISP subscriber base managed to increase by +114,000 quarterly net additions (up from +96,000 in Q2-2010) to hit a total of 5,341,000.

However the biggest news this quarter is that BT, for the first time, revealed that it now had 38,000 BT Infinity customers. Infinity is the operators "fibre-based" - "super-fast" 40Mbps FTTC broadband service. BT claims that orders for Infinity are increasing rapidly, currently running at over 4,000 per week. BT aims, at a total cost of £2.5bn, to reach 66% of UK homes with FTTC by 2015.

FTTC delivers a fast fibre optic cable to BT's street level cabinets, while the remaining connection (between cabinets and homes) is done using VDSL2 (similar to current ADSL broadband but faster over short distances) via existing copper cable; FTTC can deliver speeds of up to 40Mbps, rising to 60Mbps in the future (uploads can reach up to 10-15Mbps).

Ian Livingston, BT's Chief Executive, said:

"We have made significant progress in improving profitability and cash flow, enabling us to invest in building the foundations for revenue growth in 2012/13. We have increased our EBITDA outlook for the year and now expect to hit our £2bn free cash flow target two years early.

Global Services order intake was up 50% at £2.1bn. Our fibre roll out has passed three million premises and BT Infinity orders are now running at over 4,000 per week. BT Vision customers now stand at more than half a million, with more developments planned to enhance our offering. Our share of DSL broadband net additions was 45%, one of our highest shares ever."

Elsewhere the BT Vision service (broadband TV) had +24,000 net additions in the quarter and their customer base currently stands at 520,000. Of these, over 50,000 have taken BT's Sky Sports service which commenced broadcasting in August 2010. The operator is seeing continued increase in usage of 'Vision', with average subscription views per customer up 10% since Q2.

Separately, capital expenditure increased by 21% to £99m, which partly reflected the roll-out of fibre-based broadband in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile consumer Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) increased to £317, up £3 over the previous quarter, principally due to a continuing increase in broadband penetration.

However, despite the positive news, general revenue for the quarter decreased by 5%. Much of this is due to Ofcom's determination on termination rates for 0845 and 0870 calls, although broadband revenue alone reduced by 2% "as a result of continued migration to LLU" (cheaper unbundled broadband ISPs).
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