TalkTalk have passed 81% of their broadband base being unbundled, ahead of the full-year target which hopes to see 85% of customers using an unbundled broadband service. The financial results for the company released today also show that in this Q2 period, the company have seen an increase in broadband customers by 18,000 giving them 4.25 million users.
The roll-out of the TalkTalk 'Next-Generation Network' has accelerated and migration of customers to this from BT provided wholesale services has increased. A further 700 exchanges are targeted for unbundling over the medium term which will push them to 93% of population coverage and also the same percentage which should move to the TalkTalk network. As customers can be moved to a fully unbundled network, it increases the average revenue per user (ARPU) that the company can attain. The second quarter saw this rise from from £23.90 to £24.70.
Integration of services through their 'One Company' programme following the acquisition of various broadband companies (such as Tiscali and those it acquired) is on track to complete by the end of the year which will allow them to deliver higher than expected benefits, and the target for synergies has been raised to £55 million.
"TalkTalk now has by far the UK’s largest Next Generation Network, a base of 4.25 million broadband and voice customers, and an innovative and growing brand. It has achieved this by entrepreneurial initiative, organic growth and acquisition. Now TalkTalk is able to start fully realising the potential of this scale, for the benefit of shareholders as well as customers. Accordingly we have developed our strategy to do just this.
At the heart of the strategy is unbundling. Our fully unbundled Next Generation Network enables us to deliver more products and better service to our customers, and is the key driver of our improving customer mix and growing ARPU. We have therefore accelerated our rate of network expansion and unbundling. 81% of our broadband customers are now on our network and we are going to add 700 new exchanges, and aim to put 93% of our customers onto our network, in line with the extended population coverage.Dido Harding, (Chief Executive) TalkTalk
Whilst the company are keen to big up their 'Next Generation Network', it should be noted that this delivers broadband speeds up to 24meg, the equivalent of WBC over BT's 21CN, and shouldn't be confused with super-fast broadband which is also often referred to as 'next generation' which offers even faster speeds. TalkTalk expect to be offering these newer fibre-based broadband services to customers during their fourth quarter (which ends 31st March 2011).