TalkTalk has published its Q1 results, and the broadband results are a tale of two halves. The on-net LLU services are increasing in customers (added 35,000), but non-LLU is continuing to shrink (lost 62,000).
TalkTalk is continuing to expand its LLU operations, with 450 exchanges planned for unbundling this year, and aims to add 200,000-250,000 customers to its network this year. The last quarter saw 30 exchanges added to the LLU network. The firm which encompasses the AOL and Tiscali brands has some 2,827,000 customers on full LLU (MPF) and 815,000 on shared LLU (SMPF), plus a further 530,000 connected via the BT Wholesale platform. The TalkTalk fibre boost at £10 a month has a modest 1,000 customers at this time, but sales are running at around 200 per week currently.
While the TalkTalk LLU network covers some 2,037 exchanges out of the total of 5,500, this represents a very high proportion of the population, the work this year should take it 90% of households connected to an exchange where it can offer ADSL2+. This will put it ahead of the BT Wholesale WBC ADSL2+ rollout.
TalkTalk has often drawn criticism over customer service, and it seems things are improving. In June 2011, 75% of new orders were completed within 20 days, compared to just 50% six months earlier, additionally the number of customers cancelling orders between ordering and being connected has fallen significantly. The total number of calls to customer services/support fell by 40% compared to 12 months ago, in part due to the increase in online customer contact. This is reflected on our own forums, where people often find that the TalkTalk customer forums can be a much better route to get issues resolved.