The latest financial figures from the BT Group reveal the continuing appetite for broadband in the UK, and the continuing adjustment from calls and line rental to fixed price services like broadband.
BT Retail which is the face of BT that many millions in the UK still think of when you mention BT has had a fairly healthy quarter, adding 81,000 broadband customers giving a total broadband customer base of 6.44m. The roll-out of fibre services by Openreach is helping BT Retail too, as the retail arm now has 875,000 customers on its heavily advertised Infinity products, adding 160,000 in the last quarter alone. This represents 14% of the broadband customers in the BT Retail arm, suggesting that as competing providers ramp up their advertising that demand for faster broadband is high in the UK. BT Retail has just launched its YouView proposition, but its older BT Vision system added 21,000 customers to reach 750,000 subscribers.
Openreach is continuing its fibre (FTTC and FTTP) deployment which are now available to some 12 million premises and with 950,000 subscribers the takeup rate is 7.92%. 190,000 new subscribers were added in the last quarter, 30,000 of these via one of the over 70 plus operators who are not BT Retail. The bad weather does figure in the latest figures in that because of delays in connecting new phone lines due to prioritising the repair of existing services, the number of copper lines declined by 38,000.
BT Wholesale has shown a quarter on quarter reduction in revenue, mainly due to the continuing shift to LLU, but the bright spark has been orders from EE to upgrade backhaul capacity at key base station locations, and the launch by EE of its fibre services which operate over the BT Wholesale WBC network (TalkTalk and Sky use their own backhaul network for the fibre services they buy direct from Openreach).