Openreach Fibre Base Rises To 4.6m As BT Adds 100,000 Mobile Customers

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Openreach continues to grow, with a fifth of all premises covered by fibre now taking superfast broadband

The number of superfast broadband connections on the BT Openreach network increased by 389,000 over the past three months, with a fifth of all premises covered by fibre in the UK now taking up superfast services.

Openreach fibre now reaches 23 million homes and businesses, with 4.6 million taking up services from the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk and others. BT secured 56 percent of all new fibre additions, but says the fact 44 percent opted for a third party is indicative of overall demand.

There were 149,000 entirely new additions to the Openreach fibre and copper network, of which BT’s retail divisions signed up 57 percent. In total, both networks now serve 19.4 million users, 7.8 million of which are BT customers.

BT openreach

BT TowerTotal revenues fell by two percent to £4.3bn during the first quarter, but operating profit jumped by ten percent to £814m.

“This is an exciting time at BT. We continue to invest heavily in our superfast fibre broadband network,” said CEO Gavin Patterson. “It now reaches around 80 percent of all UK premises and we will work with government to help take fibre broadband to 95 percent of the country by the end of 2017. Our technical trials of ultrafast broadband using G.fast are progressing well; we’re on target to start large-scale customer trials this summer.”

Elsewhere, 100,000 new mobile customers and 60,000 new BT TV users helped boost consumer revenues by three percent to £1bn, while ongoing declines in business call and line demand were partially offset by increased data use but did not stop BT Business revenue falling by two percent.

BT Global Services revenue fell by six percent to £1.5bn, but wholesale and Openreach revenues remained static at £530 million and £1.249bn respectively.

“Our mobile plans have got off to a good start with more than 100,000 consumer mobile customers signed up in the first three months,” continued Patterson. “We’re also looking forward to completing our acquisition of EE, which will allow us to create a true UK digital champion, providing customers with greater choice and value and helping to deliver the UK’s connected future.

“We have also invested further in improving customer service and Openreach is running ahead of all 60 minimum service levels set by Ofcom for this year.  And we are engaging with Ofcom as part of its Strategic Review of Digital Communications which offers scope for deregulation and the potential to create a more level playing field in pay-TV.

“The investments we are making in our business and customer service are building a strong platform for growth.  And our financial results show we’re on track to achieve our outlook for the full year.”

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