The third quarter results for the BT Group are out, and the key broadband statistics as usual revolve around Openreach since people are keen to find out how the fibre roll-outs (VDSL2/FTTP) is progressing.
"Capital expenditure of £321m, which is after net grant funding of £58m (Q3 2014/15: £94m), was up 7%. This was mainly due to our investment in connecting new homes and businesses and higher volumes of Ethernet. For the year as a whole, we continue to expect capital expenditure in Openreach to be above 2014/15."Third Quarter CapEx in Openreach
In the quarter the operating profit was £359m and with 494,000 new connections onto the VDSL2 or FTTP network the total number of fibre based connections is now at the 5.5 million mark or in other words 22% of the homes passed. The quarterly revenue from those 5.5 million fibre based connections is around £132 million, which goes some way to explain why Openreach talks of payback periods of 15 years for its fibre roll-out a lot of the time. The growth of 494,400 new fibre based connections is 32% higher than the same quarter last year.
The 5.5 million fibre based customers are not all with the BT Group, and while BT Consumer has the largest share, during the last quarter around half were actually sold via other providers such as Sky and TalkTalk. Suggesting that the competition in the retail sector is having an effect.
BT Consumer grew its number of broadband customers by 130,000 customers in the quarter and including existing customers upgrading added 250,000 fibre based customers. The consumer division thus has around 8 million broadband customers with 3.7 million on a fibre based product (46% of connections). BT TV continues to grow with 97,000 new customers, so 1.4 million customers on the FreeView/IPTV hybrid product.
With the BT Group acquiring EE on January 29th BT has chosen to refresh how it organises the group but with no changes for Openreach. The results confirm that the EE name will continue and some £3.5 billion of cash along with shares was given to Deutsche Telekom and Orange.
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