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Openreach connects 375,000 fibre connections in last quarter
Friday 30 January 2015 09:56:04 by Andrew Ferguson

The BT Group Q3/2014 results are in and along with the other news today about fibre features heavily.

Openreach in the last quarter spent £300m net of £94m of BDUK funding on capital expenditure and managed to pass some 630,000 premises as part of the BDUK roll-out. The FTTC/P footprint is sitting at a declared figure of 22 million premises (~3/4 of UK). What is interesting is that even though demand for FTTC/P resulted in a record number of new connections 375,000 in the quarter operating profit only increased by 1%, suggesting as yet there is no goldmine to be had from the fibre roll-outs. With 3.7 million fibre based broadband connections via Openreach take-up is running at 17%.

The last quarter has seen fibre services at the retail level finally start to feature heavily in the various special offers and this seems to be paying dividends for the non BT Group providers as they have grabbed a 44% share of the net additions in the last quarter.

For those who despise copper local loops, the news that the Openreach physical line base grew by 111,000 will upset the gossip that people are giving up their landlines to use mobile as copper is so bad. In fact the 111,000 in the quarter is another record, especially when you consider that the 12 months including the quarter only added 144,000 lines.

BT Consumer is of course the face most people know the BT Group by and even though there has been heavy promotion and use of gift cards operating profits are up in the last quarter compared to the same quarter 12 months ago by 68%. 35% of new customers to BT Consumer are buying a fibre based broadband package, and take-up of Infinity was such that there was 209,000 retail additions, to give BT Consumer some 2.7m fibre customers. The total broadband customer base standing at 7.56 million, two million ahead of the closest rival Sky.

The TV element of the BT Consumer services in itself is not controversial, but the BT Sport and rights costs tend to be, but with some 30% of all UK pubs now subscribing out of a total of 25,000 commercial premises it is not the big giveaway that many view it as. BT TV added another 45,000 customers in the quarter.


Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
What proportion of the £300m was on NGA?
The £94m state aid is consistent with the £200 per premise passed. NAO calculated actuals to be £104 per premise passed.
That's another £40-£45m of excess costs to be added to £142m already identified to Sept 2014.
We need some FOX exchanges planned in every county to use those funds.
Perhaps the utility is so high and returns low, the state should pay, suggests the costs should not be gamed in the manner witnessed so far.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@ValueForMoney perhaps ask BT, their contact details are on their website.

FOX exchanges - only if the LLU providers agree, since they cannot unbundle voice on a FOX exchange.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
From the results 111000 customers it looks like the contractors and Openreach have at last got continuity in there procedures on changing over to FTTC you can tell by the lime lag order window aprox 10 working days from order,this has helped by the Surrey Council hitting the areas when the CABs open.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Actually it is 375,000 new fibre customers (a lot obviously being existing ADSL2+ users) rather than totally new lines.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew Staff.
Thanks for the correction I hope they are getting a better service at a lower cost but I exspect it is transferring the traffic loading ( congestion )
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@blackmamba If the performance of FTTC was only ADSL2+ style at peak times then am sure we would be snowed under with moans.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
Truthfully, I've never detected any significant line congestion with my VDSL2 connection (which syncs at about 59mbps and delivers 55mbps on throughput tests).
I don't think I've had a "proper" (that is using wired connection with no other loads) throughput of less than 48Mbps, and that's rare. Most are well over 50mbps. Others mileage might vary.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers
As the loading from Adsl exchange to fibre service at FTTC I am sure that Openreach infrastructure will be able to cope with the demand on change over and the other ISP,s networks can cope with there changes with the demand increasing .
Posted by Exup over 2 years ago
What the numbers don't tell us is that BT Openreach seems to walk away from troublesome FTTC upgrades. The upgrade to my local cabinet is over a year late, with BT Openreach delaying the availability by 9 months two weeks before the stated availability is reached. This has happened twice with no reason provided on either occasion. No amount of complaining seems to make any difference, they do what they want and when they want, customers don't matter. I just hope that BT Openreach will one day get round to doing the upgrade....
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