The latest set of quarterly figures from BT reveal that its FTTC roll-out is progressing at a significant pace still, when there was some claiming the roll-out had stalled and was falling apart. The Openreach GEA-FTTC and GEA-FTTP networks passed some 13 million premises as of 31st December 2012 and have been installed to 1.25 million businesses and homes.
"Our engineers have worked tirelessly following some of the wettest weather on record. Not only did they complete a record number of field visits in the quarter, they also connected a further 281,000 homes and businesses to broadband and helped us grow the number of landlines. BT Global Services has also done well securing £1.9bn of new orders, up 17%."Ian Livingston, Chief Executive
Openreach connected an extra 281,000 DSL or fibre connections in the last connection, 7% higher than the previous quarter and the footprint for its FTTC/P network grew by roughly 1.3 million premises. Even with this growth revenue declined due largely to regulatory enforced price changes with the growth of the fibre and Ethernet products reducing the impact.
BT Retail which is just one of hundreds of customers for BT Wholesale saw its revenue decrease by 3%, but added 122,000 customers in the quarter (total broadband customer base 6.56 million). The number of new fibre connections via its Infinity brand grew by 200,000 to over 1 million, the figure includes new to BT Retail and existing customers migrating to the fibre products. YouView is starting to make an impact with 60,000 customers using the new box and BT Vision (which has different pay per view options) growing by 21,000 customers.
We did chase BT for detail on the split of FTTC and FTTP in the figures, but they don't publish them, with the financial results referring to just 'fibre' throughout. This is disappointing as while we know the amount of FTTP will be low, tracking the growth would help to judge the commonly held belief that consumers would rather buy FTTP than FTTC.