BT Group sees super-fast customers treble in six months
Another of the major providers has published a set of quarterly results, this time it is the BT Group with its 1st quarter to 30th June 2011 figures.
We continue to make progress towards delivering our financial, operational and growth goals.
We grew profit before tax by 20% at the same time as investing in the future of the business. Our share of DSL broadband net additions was 56%. Our super-fast broadband network has now passed over 5m premises and the customer base has almost trebled in the last six months. BT Global Services is making further progress in high growth economies and secured its largest ever contract in Latin America.Ian Livingstone, Chief Executive, BT Group plc
Concentrating on the broadband numbers, the report reveals some 251,000 net DSL additions in the quarter, of which BT Retail's share was 141,000. BT Retail is continuing to see decreasing revenue from calls and line rental, but this is being offset partly by growth from broadband. The BT Infinity product gained 71,000 customers, taking the total to over 200,000. BT Vision continues to grow with some 600,000 customers.
BT Wholesale has migrated some 232,000 LLU lines into their broadband platform, which we believe is the result of BT Wholesale now managing the Orange Home Broadband service. The reductions in mobile termination rates impacted on revenue, since transit revenue decreased by £43m, but if the transit revenue is excluded then the decrease in underlying revenue was only 1%, this decrease caused by lines migrating to LLU (e.g. as LLU providers extend their footprint) and the reduction in revenue from other regulatory decisions. Capital Investment did increase by some £7m to £74m in the quarter, in main because of increased investment in WBC and Ethernet roll-out.
Openreach showed a 5% increase in revenue, due to Ethernet, broadband and LLU growth, but would have been higher without the reduction in Wholesale Line Rental (WLR). No figures are given for take up of their super-fast broadband services, which should be higher than the BT Infinity 200,000 total, but BT Retail will form the bulk of sales since only recently have other major providers started to take an interest. The super-fast network passes some five million premises, and is on track to pass ten million by 2012, reaching its two thirds of UK premises target by the end of 2015.
Comparing the sales of BT Infinity to sales of the 50Meg and 100Meg services from Virgin Media, BT Retail shows some good figures, with a 4% take-up in a much shorter timeframe. The Virgin Media 50Meg product launched some 30 months ago. One reason for the more rapid take-up of FTTC products is the improvement compared to ADSL and ADSL2+ is significantly more than for Virgin Media cable customers who were already able to get 20Meg, and now 30Meg connections. Compare these numbers to ADSL take-up, in March 2001 there was just 30,000 customers after the launch of consumer ADSL the previous summer (at the same time Germany had 400,000 ADSL connections), which suggests that super-fast broadband is off to a better start than ADSL.