BT Adds 195,000 To Its Fibre Network In Record Quarter For Openreach

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BT adds 195,00 new and existing broadband subscribers to fibre as BT Sport secures 2m sign-ups

BT signed up 195,000 new and existing subscribers to its superfast broadband services during the second quarter of 2013, a 22 percent increase that brings its fibre customer base up to 1.7 million.

The company says 32 percent of this number were not previously copper subscribers, with some likely tempted by the offer of BT Sport, which is available for free to any BT broadband subscriber, and has been taken up by more than two million households.

These signups contributed to revenues of £4.2 billion and a profit of £499 million during the quarter.

In total, BT added 156,000 entirely new customers to its copper and fibre services during the quarter, accounting for 93 percent of the 156,000 subscribers added to the Openreach network, which makes BT’s broadband infrastructure available to all Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

BT broadband subscribers

BT Sport (1)“BT Sport has made a confident start and is already delivering for viewers,” said BT CEO Gavin Patterson, who replaced Ian Livingston earlier this year. “It is also delivering for the business, helping us achieve a record 93 percent share of broadband net adds in the quarter, our lowest line losses for five years and 4 percent  revenue growth in our BT Retail Consumer business.”

Openreach enjoyed a record quarter, adding 316,000 new and existing customers to its fibre network, with BT signing up 60 percent of these and other IPs the remainder. Two million premises now receive fibre from Openreach, which is now available to 17 million homes and businesses, boosted by the 42 BDUK deals agreed by BT with local authorities.

“This has been our strongest ever quarter for fibre take-up with Openreach net connections up 70%,” added Patterson. “Our fibre network now passes more than 17 million premises. It is open to all and many other service providers have now got behind it.

Openreach adds

“I feel privileged to be the new CEO of BT and am determined to build on the strong foundations that are already in place. These are exciting times for the company and we are determined to deliver our strategy with energy and discipline.”

However’ BT’s lion’s share of the new customers added to Openreach could increase calls for greater regulation of superfast broadband by its competitors, such as TalkTalk.

TalkTalkCEO Dido Harding has repeatedly stated her concerns, calling it worrying that the majority of consumers received superfast broadband from BT Retail and Virgin Media and has said that competition in fibre is not as strong as it is in copper.

Ofcom has accepted that BT has a ‘dominant market position’ in copper and regulates the cost of access to the Openreach network for copper services, something which it says has lowered prices for consumers and promoted competition.

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