The BT Group has published its results for the first quarter of 2012, revealing that the Openreach has now connected some 750,000 premises to its fibre network (FTTC and FTTP), with the footprint covering some 11 million businesses and homes, an increase of 2m in the last quarter. This means that take-up is sitting at 6.8% currently.
BT Retail which is the most visible part of BT that people have contact with added 85,000 broadband customers in the period, and the 150,000 added to BT Infinity is a mixture of new and existing customers giving the retail arm the lions share of that market at over 700,000 subscriptions. The increase of 85,000 broadband customers reflects 50% of the new broadband subscriptions for DSL, LLU and fibre (excludes cable) in the UK. BT Vision is still growing, adding 21,000 customers, giving a total of 728,000. The story in BT Wholesale is the usual one, that LLU and the transition to IP based services is eroding revenue.
The story for the BT Group overall is one where profits before tax have increased by 8% to £578m from a revenue of £4,484m (down 6%), but there is still a net debt of £9,142m.
The figures reveal the dominant position of BT Infinity in the FTTC market, with the many other providers who sell the service, either using the BT Wholesale back haul network, or a handover onto their own back haul at the exchanges. BT Retail has 700,000 connections, versus 50,000 from all the others, partly this is down to the lack of publicity by other providers and the keen pricing of BT Retails offering. We suspect that once coverage increases to the point where Openreach has its fibre services available to over half of UK households that take-up and advertising from BT Retail competitors will increase.