Broadband News

UK broadband connections reach 19.5 million in Q4 2010

Ofcom regularly publish market data on the communications sector, and have this month released it's communications market report for Q4 2010. Key factors for broadband were a 728,000 increase in broadband lines (3.9%) more than the previous year, pushing total connections to nearly 19.5 million. BT Retail's share of the market remains dominant at 27.7%, a 1.7% rise over the Q4 2009.

Period Total BT Retail DSL Other DSL Virgin Media Cable Other (inc LLU) BT Retail Share
Q4 2009 18,740 4,876 3,638 3,845 6,381 26.0%
Q1 2010 18,798 4,997 3,246 3,917 6,638 26.6%
Q2 2010 18,839 5,092 2,881 3,943 6,924 27.0%
Q3 2010 19,076 5,204 2,726 3,986 7,161 27.3%
Q4 2010 19,468 5,387 2,547 4,028 7,507 27.7%
Residential and small business broadband connections (000's). Source: Ofcom CMR Q4 2010.

The table above shows an interesting growth pattern, with BT retail and Virgin Media slowly creeping up, but the main shift being a move from "Other DSL" towards "Other (inc. LLU)". This change will largely be due to providers such as TalkTalk and Sky enabling more exchanges through local loop unbundling (LLU) and moving their users on to their own networks away from BT Wholesale. As the 20 million broadband users milestone approaches, it's likely that the statistics will show we break this barrier sometime in Q2 2011.

Other telecoms statistics show the fixed-line market saw a £2.3bn loss in revenue in Q4 2010 (5.5% lower than Q4 2009) partially due to a decrease in the number of fixed lines (by 0.6%) and a 5.2% decline in call minutes (down to 31.5 billion minutes). Mobile revenue also declined by 3% over the year, with access, calls data and bundled services falling by 1.9%. The number of messages sent increased by around 19% to 31 billion in Q4 2010, or the equivalent of 478 messages per subscriber. The number of active mobiles now stands at just over 66 million, although this excludes Three and MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operator's) likes Virgin Mobile / Tesco Mobile. 47% of these subscriptions were post-pay contracts, a 7% rise compared with Q4 2009.


I don't see how VM can escape from having to share it's network if it has 50% populatioon coverage and 20% market share (vs 27% for BT)... it just doesn't make sense that (according to OFCOM) they don't have significant market presence...

  • themanstan
  • over 9 years ago

there could be at least three million more on broadband if they could get decent connections.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 9 years ago

Good news for the shares! £1.91 and rising ;)

  • krazykizza
  • over 9 years ago

@themanstan One theory could be that BT also already have a network where Virgin do so by Virgin opening up their ducts, it might not actually make much more access available.

BT would of course argue Virgin should as they would no doubt like VM to go through the headache that they have to over this, and I think generally it would be a good thing to have more ducts available. Perhaps generate a little competition?

  • john
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 9 years ago

No company should be forced do anything.

Artificial competition only makes our situation worse for the long term.

  • otester
  • over 9 years ago

No otester they shouldn't be forced at all. I wonder how the Royal Mail would feel if it was forced to open up its infrastructure including post boxes and post offices and other services to other companies like TNT/UPS etc just because they had SMP? And yes I know its government owned but its still a limited company, just owned by the government

  • GMAN99
  • over 9 years ago

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