While the total number of broadband customers at TalkTalk may have only grown 10,000 in the last quarter, the increase in TV and fibre based customers is the main sign of success at the telephone, broadband, mobile and TV operator.
The number of broadband customers for the quarter ending in June 2014 was 4,206,000 with just 132,000 using off-net (i.e. BT Wholesale based), the full LLU network (3,032 exchanges) actually added 45,000 customers in the quarter, offset by the loss of 22,000 on shared LLU and 13,000 on the BT Wholesale platform. The appeal of fibre based services at TalkTalk shows steady growth adding 34,000 in the last quarter to give a total of 241,000.
To emphasis the fact that business users do not always need to use BT as the first port of call for Ethernet/leased lines the financial report highlights that 1,800 new EFM/Ethernet lines were added in the last quarter to give TalkTalk a total of 19,000.
Looking to the future for the bottom line the hope that a Margin Squeeze Test from Ofcom on the Openreach GEA-FTTC products will see the wholesale price reduced is mentioned. TalkTalk already sells some of the cheapest fibre based services, though having seen the reaction from some the low upload speed of 2 Mbps on their cheapest service may be putting some people off of upgrading.
The FTTP project in York gets a four line mention, with indications that recruitment of engineers is underway for a trial on the actual streets of York using micro-trenching, building on previous micro-trenching trial work. The hope being that the first homes and businesses will go live in 2015.
The FTTP news is welcome, but seems a little odd to see no mention of CityFibre and talk of recruiting engineers for micro-trenching has us wondering how big a role CityFibre has in the project, i.e. are they just providing core backhaul to major nodes rather than actual FTTP in residential streets. If it is just core network, does this mean Sky will have their own micro-trenching teams and we may see one street with Sky FTTP and another with TalkTalk FTTP rather than a product fully built by CityFibre and wholesaled to Sky and TalkTalk?
The Openreach GEA-FTTP footprint is around 150,000 premises (a large number in Cornwall) and with the interest in FTTP by TalkTalk there are now questions as to why they are not selling that service where available. Poor product from Openreach?