Most of the bigger broadband providers are gaining customers, but Orange broadband has been having a sticky period for a while now, with customer numbers down from 1.142 million customers in September 2007, to 1.063 million at the end of June 2008. In the last quarter the total number of subscribers was 2.5% down, what is more worrying for the company is that this means more than 2.5% decided to leave, as one would expect to see some new sign-ups in the quarter too.
The full quarters results are available on www.francetelecom.com. Revenue was down some 7.7%, but the number of unbundled lines within the UK for Orange rose from 23% in 2007 to 40% currently. In theory putting customers onto a LLU network should provide cost savings, but the costs of rolling out a LLU network are high, and as fibre based networks edge ever closer companies will need to be careful to ensure they do not over invest in LLU without considering the future path to a more fibre lead future.
The other large provider to have shown a decline in customer numbers has been AOL Broadband, but most other large providers are still showing a growth in numbers, with new entrant O2 managing to add a healthy number of customers each quarter. So one can be sure that there will be boardrooms around the UK now looking at why some providers are still able to attract new sign-ups to broadband, and as the market increasingly becomes a switchers market, why are existing broadband users not switching to them.