TalkTalk sees record numbers buying VDSL2 service
TalkTalk is now heading down a path of FIbre for Everyone, alas at this time it does not mean full fibre for everyone but shows the operator is starting the shift away from a dependency on ADSL2+. The aim is to get everyone onto a VDSL2, G.fast or full fibre service and this includes selling the Openreach FTTP services in areas where the TalkTalk Fibre Nation footprint does not reach.
The latest financial results show that growth continues at TalkTalk, but it was just 2,000 net adds in the last quarter, which while small was still the ninth quarter in a row with positive numbers. The total user base is now up at 4.289 million customers but the real positive is that there was a record number of customers electing for FTTC services at 152,000 in Q4 which is the largest number ever in the quarter.
One thing many have may not have realised is that some of the drive behind the shift to more fibre rich services is driven by the regulatory price reductions and the commercial offers from Openreach that has seen the price gulf narrow between ADSL2+ and FTTC services. These reduced wholesale costs mean the effect of the fixed price plans on ARPU is being offset.
The fixed price contracts are now old enough that TalkTalk can report on what churn is like at the end of the first ones and it is running at 1.2%, so no massed exodus at the end of the fixed term. We may see churn change significantly once Ofcom mandated end of contract letters appear, the big unknown is how attractive will any offers in the notifications be. TalkTalk may actually be in a better position than some other providers because the results state that the average price difference between new and existing customers is just £1 to £2 compared to a whopping £13 to £15 at other providers.
On FibreNation the York roll-out is apparently nearing completion and building work for Ripon, Harrogate and Knaresborough is set to start in summer 2019. Alas no investor has dropped from the sky with large sums of money to invest in FibreNation so the steady build within the means of the TalkTalk Group will continue.